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Rohan Anderson: From a Corporate Lifestyle to Living off the Grid

Rohan Anderson

You can also listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE via iTunes.

Guy: For this week’s podcast episode, we decided to record it in audio only, as our guest lives in a remote part of Australia and we didn’t want to take the chance with internet quality. By doing this we are able to deliver great audio clarity without any dropouts.

Rohan Anderson A Year Of Practiculture

 

Eat well, Live Well. It’s that simpleRohan Anderson

Our fantastic guest today is Rohan Anderson. A few years ago he created Whole Larder Love which began as an online journal, documenting the story of a life change.

A significant life change for a regular person embedded in western society.

Rohan had a metamorphosis driven by a desire to alter his food and lifestyle choices. At the beginning, he was very unhealthy. Obesity, food allergy, anxiety, depression and hyper-tension where all part of daily reality (most of which he was medicated for).

His health concerns, a growing understanding of his environmental impact and the responsibility of being a parent, where catalysts nudging him to make deliberate change.

Today’s podcast is all about change. How we truly do have the power within us to change if we truly want it, and how the small changes can make a huge difference over time in our lives and others. Be inspired and enjoy!

Full Interview:

In This Episode:

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher

  • How he overcame obesity, hypertension, anxiety, depression
  • Making the switch from corporate world to rural life
  • Why he had to go through a great deal of pain before making huge changes
  • Why building his log cabin has been the most rewarding thing he has ever done :)
  • Rohan’s favourite & most influential books:
    Western Novels by Louis L’Amour
    - The Unprejudiced Palate by Angelo M. Pellegrini
  • And much much more…

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Full Transcript

Hey, this is Guy Lawrence with 180 Nutrition and welcome to today’s Health Sessions. I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that everyone’s journey when it comes to health, food and nutrition and exercise it’s almost like a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum I guess you could say you’ve got people that have never made the food-health connection before. Don’t really look at what they’re eating, if they’re eating processed carbohydrates, if it’s affecting their gut health and all sorts of things going on.

Actually for them literally it’s not buying some fast food and eating a bowl of edge instead. It could be a major challenge and then at the other end of the spectrum you got people that have been making tremendous amount of change over the years and forever evolving and learning. The one thing I’ve come to conclusion is to always keep a beginners mind and I try and have that approach when it comes to health nutrition and pretty much anything in life.

I only say these things because today’s guest, who I think is absolutely awesome, just a wonderful human being is Rohan Anderson. It’s safe to say he shares his journey today, which is being that full spectrum. He was that guy who was earning lots of money, corporate world, but very unhappy. He was clinically diagnosed obese. He said he had food allergies, anxiety, depression, hypertension. They were all parts of the daily reality and most of them which were medicated for as well. He just simply wasn’t happy.

Over the years he’s been evolving and making changes up to this point now where we have him on the podcast [00:02:00] today. He’s releasing a second health book which is called ‘A Year of Practiculture’. My copy is in the mail as I write this, because I’m very excited to get it because it’s full of stories and even recipes from a year of living a self-reliant lifestyle.
From going to being that guy, obese corporate to now becoming a self-sufficient person. Which that’s growing, hunting forage and healthy sustainable foods off the land. We are actually opted to record this podcast in audio only and not the usual video as well, because he’s in a very remote part of Victoria. We just wanted to make sure the sound quality was top notch.

In his own words as well he said, you could scream until he was blue in the face when he was that guy back when he was obese. He had to find the changes for himself. I know I can certainly relate that on my own journey when I think of certain family and friends. No matter what I say or do I don’t really change.

I’ve come to the conclusion that you can just lead by example. When people are ready to change they’ll make the change and start asking you questions and so forth. Obviously you can direct them then to podcasts like this. The one thing I have been finding helpful you might have heard me say on a couple of a few podcasts ago that we actually did a survey and we designed a quiz around that on people’s number 1 problems. Generally it’s normally revolving around weight loss. We look at these things from a very physical aspect and then as we start to change we then look deeper into it and then we really start to embrace the health changes.

If you are struggling with trying to get people over the line to make them look at their diet a little bit or their health, this is actually a great place to start. You [00:04:00] could send them back to 180nutrition.com and 180nutrition.com.au and there will be a button there saying, “Take the quiz” and that’s a great place to start. That’s designed for somebody that really hasn’t started their health journey yet. There’s a good video and there’s actually a really good introductory offer to help support people that want to make the change for the first time.

If you’re struggling and telling yourselves, you can use that to tell them for you. Take the quiz back at 180nutrition.com and .com.au. Anyway let’s go over to Rohan. This is a really fantastic podcast. Enjoy!

Hi. This is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart Cooke. Hi Stu.

Stuart: Hello mate.

Guy: Our awesome guest today is Rohan Anderson. Rohan, welcome to the show.

Rohan: Nice. Thanks for having me.

Guy: Just to put our listeners into the picture mate. We all met at the Primal Living talk last year in Tasmania, which I think now is over a year ago, so wow, time really flies.
I remember watching your talk mate and just absolutely being blown away by it and with your message, the story, the humor, the heartfelt-ness from it and it was absolutely fantastic. Believe it or not I’ve gone on and done a couple of talks since. I always take inspiration from that day Rohan. We’re very honoured to have you on the show today and looking forward to getting a little bit to know more about you and share with our listeners. It’s greatly appreciated mate.

Rohan: All right.

Guy: To start the show Rohan, would you mind just sharing a little bit about your story and the life changes you’ve made before you got on to a whole lot of love, just to give people a bit of a background.

Rohan: Yeah. It’s probably quite familiar to a lot of people. Middle class Australian working my ass off trying to earn as much money as possible to pay off [00:06:00] mortgages and car loans and credit cards. I ended up working about 6 days a week in a couple of different jobs and focusing on values in life that I thought were important. What took a back seat was the things that are important, which are family, health, experiences.
My body was a reflection of the way my life was. At that point in time I was morbidly obese. I had a whole range of different health issues and fairly common health issues that a lot of Australians have. I had hypertension, anxiety, depression, I had food allergies. Like I said before, I was disgustingly obese. I can say that, I was an absolute fatty.

What happened was there was a couple of different catalysts that made me look at my life, evaluate it and say, “I need to make some …” I realized I need to make some changes.
I think having kids and the realization that I was feeding my kids the same shit food that I was eating, gave me a large amount of guilt. That hitched out at me to want to make changes in what I was feeding my kids and then I was asking myself “Well, I want to feed my kids healthy foods and I should be feeding myself healthy foods.”

Then I started to do some trial journey of moving away from foods like chicken nuggets and takeaway foods and urban fries and moving into looking at cooking with whole foods, really, really basic stuff. Looking at cook books to begin with and actually cooking with ingredients as opposed to opening up a jar of tomato sauce and pouring over some pasta.
Then eventually [00:08:00] I took extra steps and started looking for organic produce, chemical free produce, local produce and in turn the more local the product the more seasoned it is, the more [inaudible 00:08:12].

Then from there I took an even one more further step and I started growing most of my own food. For my meat I became a hunter.

Guy: How long ago was this Rohan?

Rohan: I really don’t know. It’s been such a long journey now. I would say it’s probably … I do know I started writing a whole lot about 2009. I had previous to that attempted to integrate some of these stuff into my life, especially the growing of the vegetables. It was in the back of my mind, it was more of a hobby. I didn’t take it as seriously as I do now. Although even though I do take it seriously there’s quite a lot of farming.

Stuart: What was it Rohan that led you to explore that avenue as opposed to doing what most people would do in the modern world. They’d join perhaps Jenny Craig and go to the doctors and get some pills.

Rohan: I did both of those things. This is why it’s important to share my story, because I’m the same as everybody else, I just found a different solution for me. Everybody’s solution is going to be different. Initially I was about to take a flight to London many, many years ago. I went to my doctor and I said, “Look. Can I get some Valium? Because I’m not a very good [inaudible 00:09:43] my first long whole flight and sometimes I get a bit of anxiety.” He said, “Tell me more.”

He sat me down. It was like going to see a shrink. By the end of the session I was folding my eyes telling, basically admitting that I’ve been having these attacks for pretty much [00:10:00] in my entire adult life. He diagnosed me with anxiety and depression and I had all these tiredness issues and I was manic at times and all those sorts of things.
Straight away I was diagnosed with some symptoms and then I was medicated for. The same happened for hypertension with my very high blood pressure. You’ve got hypertension, you need to take these tablets.

That was my first step. Now that I look back at it, I think that’s great because what happened there was the medication gave me the ability to get some level ground and to find some peace and some consistency in my daily routine. Because prior to being medicated I was about to go nuts.

The other thing that I would mention as well is my wife convinced me to go Weight Watchers. I went to Weight Watchers and that was a great experience. It was very similar to an experience I had going to Alcoholic Anonymous.

The system that those guys have it’s so technical, it focuses on counting all these calories and grams and fats and bits of sugar. The amazing thing was that they told me. I said, “You should have a can of baked beans for breakfast.” Here I am having baked beans in newsletter. I was only [inaudible 00:11:20] sugar.

The point I’m trying to make is that the health profession is very, very quick to jump on the medication band wagon. I think there’s some value in that but there also should be value in looking at addressing the reasons why us western humans are in such a shit state in the first place.

Maybe to address, “Okay. Why did I work 6 days a week and want to earn so much money to buy stuff that I didn’t need?” Well, that’s because that’s what a middle class [00:12:00] western society expectations are. That’s the value that we put on ourselves and that’s the pressure that we put on ourselves.

Our health reflects that. We all work really hard and one could build [inaudible 00:12:11] everyone has got loans and credit cards and it’s so easy to get credit. Everyone is under pressure. All that pressure puts us and our health under pressure. Then we want these quick fixes to fix our health as opposed to addressing what we really need to do, which is a little bit of exercise and also eating real foods.

I heard the other day that the bestselling cook book at the moment is a green smoothie cook book. The problem with that is it’s the quick fix rubbish.

Stuart: It is.

Rohan: It’s constant. All those new different diet pads and different healthy miracle, I call it the Choo berry, which the fictitious miracle Guatemalan berry that you can cook with it. You can have it for breakfast. You can roast it. It does all these things. It’s everyone’s [inaudible 00:13:07] but the reality is all we need to do is go back in the past and look at what people would have been eating for thousands of years, which is plant matter, animal matter, a combination of the 2.

As far as processed foods go, people have been eating cheeses and breads, even culture is built on bread. It gets so brutalized bread, but human culture has lived on it for thousands of years. In some shape, way and form even the Guatemalan people, the local aboriginal people around here had often clouds of [inaudible 00:13:44] grass being bashed down with rocks to make little butter.

The reality is that’s plant butter, it is growing, it’s a seed. The same thing for all the stuff, the water [inaudible 00:13:56] any of those [00:14:00] bush foods. Our bodies have been designed to survive on plant and animal matter, not highly processed rubbish.

Guy: Rohan, something just occurred. Do you think you had to go through that pain and suffering to get to that point to make the changes? I see that in people around me as well, that I get a little bit frustrated with, but I can’t help or say anything because they’re on their journey.

Rohan: Exactly. I have just started a process of writing another book at the moment out of that exact frustration of being an advocate for making the social change in food and lifestyle for many years. I have this matrix movie moment where I came out of being connected to the system and I was a free thinking individual, as a free agent. I realized I could identify these are the problems we’ve been having in society with our food and our lifestyle.

Then everywhere I go, whether it be driving down the street or walking through a shopping center or something like that. I can see all these people and I’m absolutely frustrated. I just want to walk up to everyone and say, “Don’t you know what you’re doing to your body and do you know what you’re doing to the environment? You could be living this way. It’s fantastic.”

Having those situations and trying to communicate to everyone whether it be talks or workshops or demonstrations or whatever. I have found out that people do not like having a mirror. They do not like looking in the mirror and seeing the truth and seeing the reality. The only way most people come across this is whether or not they’ve got that intuitive and they’ve got that intelligence to pick up and say, “Hey, I’m going to embrace this into my life.” That’s a very minimal amount of the population.

Most people that make the big change in their life it’s usually some health and profession. I remember that talk in Tasmania. A lot of the speakers were saying, “Just [00:16:00] happened to know that blah, blah medical health problem happened to me. Then I made this challenge and then I did this research. Then I found out that salt is really bad in your diet or sulfur is really bad in your diet. The shampoo I was using is really bad for me.”
It’s not until people get to that stage where something bad happens to them that they’ll make a change. That’s exactly what happened to me. It’s the same thing. I remember and no offense to my lovely great grandmother. She was a heavy smoker, a heavy drinker, then got breast cancer. Her son, he was also a heavy drinker and a smoker.

He said, “I’ve been doing some research.” This is in the 1980s. He said, “I’ve got this, there’s this new diet will help you treat your cancer as opposed to chemo.” Guess what it consisted of, plant material and animal material. The stupidity was a lifetime of smoking and drinking heavily and eating horrible food and then to get to a point where you’ve got cancer that may kill you and then you address it. Unfortunately that’s what happens to most of us.

For me it’s an experience of having to take my top off in front of my JP and he measuring my waist line and my man titties. That was just absolute embarrassment of like, “I’ve let myself get to this stage.” It’s not an appearance thing, I think that’s very important. Body image and appearances are important to a certain extent, but it’s the health, how the body, they machines working.

I think for me though, you can’t deny when you jump on the scales and you weigh 180 kilos and you’re supposed to be weighing 85 kilos. You can’t find that disturbing and personally embarrassing. That was my big wake-up call and also the look on my face when [00:18:00] my doctor took my blood pressure. It was like I was a 60 year old man. He was in shock.

Stuart: It’s probably the look on his face when he took your blood pressure.

Rohan: That’s what I’m saying, it was the look on his face. Then I looked at him and his eyes bulged out of his head and like, “Oh shit man! Seriously.” He took my blood pressure about 4 times before he actually said anything. I said, “Is there something wrong?” He goes, “Yeah. We need to get you medicated straight away.”

Stuart: Oh, cracking yeah.

Rohan: That was because of food choices, lifestyle choices and stress. All those things I had to do [inaudible 00:18:43]. Everything is connected, it’s like all the biota in the world including us. We’re all absolutely connected to everything. We are one living, breathing organism. It’s the same thing, we’ve lost our choices. It’s our diet. It’s in that alcohol. It’s the drugs we take. It’s the food we eat. It’s the inactivity that we have and that’s the stress of our daily lives. It’s all integrated and joined and connected.

That’s why I can get absolutely frustrated seeing people in that hole. A lot of us are in that hole and that’s why I spend time communicating my message.

Guy: Just for the record Rohan, how is your health now since you made the changes?

Rohan: It took many years. I had this legacy weight to get rid of. The unfortunate reality is if you progress from eating high fatty foods or high salt or sugar foods, you initially lose a little bit of weight. Unless you incorporate some good cardio exercise, a bit of resistance training into your life, you have this legacy weight. Especially if you are overweight like I was.

That took me years to deal with. Then I was thrusting [00:20:00] to the spot light, because I was touring heavily. When you’re away from home you don’t have all the luxuries of your own food system back and forth. You make the choices the best you can, but often those choices or even those choices aren’t that good.

The good news is after I was medicated I think for about 8 years on antidepressants and anti-anxiety tablets and then I think for hypertension for about a year after that. Right about 7 or 8 years have been pretty heavy dosage medication. I spent a couple of years working with my JP to reduce that dose. For hypertension it was a matter of introducing some cardio training to lose some weight, which would knock a couple of numbers off the hypertension. Addressing the amount of salt I was putting into my food.

I left the high sodium processed food and then went to cooking. When you start cooking and you love cooking you add salt and so I had to address that. There’s been all these slow progressions and then the same with anxiety and depression. I think sugar has a really important role in anxiety and depression. With a little bit of research that I’ve done and also those other things about stress and lifestyle and a lot of the processed foods that make your brain go up and down every time.

That progression has been really good. Now I’m no longer medicated by anything. I used to take 2 tablets every day medicated for [inaudible 00:21:32] except for when I get a headache I’ll take a Panadol. I don’t weight myself anymore, because my clothes fit me really well. I have been to a pair of size 36 jeans that I haven’t won 5 years. I have been maybe about a month ago and for the [inaudible 00:21:50]. Because I’ve lost that much weight. I’ve gone from size 42 waist to a size 36. I’m very happy with that.

I’ve got clothes that I’ve had in [00:22:00] cupboard for years that don’t fit me. There already easily can fit, but they’ve been in cupboard so long they’re completely out of fashion. I’m not setting any fashion standards here, but the beauty is I’ve kept on to some of those clothes as my measuring stick for how my progress is going. Just for this interview I just jumped 4 kilometers and did my morning punches and push-ups. That’s it. That’s all I do.

I do some cardio, 5 days a week I do section of cardio and a little bit of a distance training in my house. I do a bit of bush walking. Last night I was out in the [inaudible 00:22:44] for about an hour, walking around chinning rabbits, that is about an hour of exercise. My wife has just incorporated all these exercise. I’m not very good at going to gyms, I’ve tried them before. I got really annoyed with gym men got pulled out for the pretty ladies.

I was just having a talk to my partner that she wants me to start doing yoga. I’ll do yoga if it’s just one other person in the room. I don’t want to be in a room with other people. I’m an independent person, I like to do things on my own. The point being is everyone has a different value of yielding and addressing this problem. Some people like to join jogging clubs, some people love to do all those group camp things or do Zumba.

As long as there is a little bit of cardio in your life, cardio relative to what your body can handle. If you’re 60 years old you don’t want to be doing too much Zumba. You need to do a little bit of [inaudible 00:23:43] walking and that would be enough cardio.

Stuart: That’s right. Thinking about our grandparents too. My nan and [00:24:00] granddad certainly wouldn’t have attended a gym. I don’t even think they would have thought about the word exercise. They probably didn’t even contemplate getting out and doing something every day. They just got on with their lives.

Rohan: Yeah. I think that’s one thing I do in talks all the time, is I tell people to go home and look at their grandparents. You will that people have got normal bottoms. Some of them might be thin, some of them might be a bit stalky, but there’s a bag of all people with obesity.

The reason being is because people walk to the train station, they walk to the train, they walk to work. When I went to work there was a lot more less robots doing the work in the factories, so people were doing physical lifting things, using their arms and their legs. Now more so there are people, like my job, pretty much most of my adult life was sitting at a desk typing on a keyboard.

As soon as I got that out of my life, which was about 3 years ago, every year I stopped getting those massive fluids that you get when you work in offices. I think also there’s something you said about being under the man-made life thing for most of the day and not getting that silent in your brain.

I just got to the stage where anything that was unnatural I wanted to minimize that as much as I could in my life. That’s exactly what people have been doing for years and years. I didn’t do it intentionally, it was just the way life was. People were much more involved in working with how their body was designed to operate. If you think about the ancient tribes of humans, running really, really fast for long periods of times was not on the agenda. They just weren’t for that. They were designed to do very fast running for very [00:26:00] short durations of time. That’s what our bodies can survive with.

That’s why you see long distance runners or people that have those really physical sports and they’ve all got injuries. The reason for that is their bodies were never designed to handle that pressure. They bodies were designed to walk great distances as nomadic tribes, pick up food along the way and that’s what our bodies were designed to. I try to immolate that in my life.

Like last night, walking around with a heavy 22 magnum riffle and carrying about 6 dead rabbits with me is exercise. That’s the exercise our bodies were designed to do.

Guy: What does a day in a life look like for you these days? Because obviously your life has changed dramatically from back when you had the corporate job and everything and the un-wellness to where you are today. Would you mind sharing a little bit about that change and what it looks like now?

Rohan: I think this as well, my life is relatively regular. The only thing is I do grow a lot of vegetables to feed the family. Over the summer period I do spend a little bit more time in the vegetable garden. I’d probably say maybe an hour, 2 hours in the vegetable garden. People go to church every week and no one complains about that dedication of time.
1 to 2 hours a week in the veggie garden. My hunting efforts are usually around autumn time where there is the ducks and the clouds and again to the bigger game like the deer. I fill the freezer so we can get through winter. Then in spring time I get out on the [inaudible 00:27:34] all the spring rabbits, because they’re fresh, they’re young, they’re healthy, they’re tender. That’s the best time of the year to be hunting rabbits, so I start hunting again. I haven’t hunted all winter basically.

I just got a phone call from a friend, the spring mushrooms have started. I’ll be hiking up the mountain getting mushroom soon. Like I said before, I spend a bit of time in the veggie garden over summer period. Then [00:28:00] in autumn I spend a lot of time in the forest picking forest mushrooms and teaching people hiking through the forest teaching people a lot of the side forest mushrooms [inaudible 00:28:06].

On a normal day I’m taking my kids to school. I’m getting my car fixed. I’m doing radio interviews and magazine interviews and stuff which is a job. I’ve got a pretty regular life. I just no longer have to be at an office at Miller Park and leaving 5:00 and ask permission to have days off. I’m a free man. I just made a decision last night that I’m going on [inaudible 00:28:32] to drive off. I can do that, I can make that choice.

I want to focus on writing my next book. I want to focus on my own mental, physical and spiritual health. I’ve just been on the road for about a month. I was doing public speaking for the book. I’ve noticed that I’m starting to feel a little bit worn out. I can make that call and say, “You know what, I’m going to focus on getting my head right, get my [inaudible 00:28:57].”

A lot of people laugh at this, but the older I get the more I realize how important my spiritual health. That’s having a sense of purpose. I’m doing things with a sense of purpose, feeling a sense of accomplishment, feeling all those things. People don’t like talking about it, because [inaudible 00:29:16].

Unfortunately if you look at a lot of other cultures around the world, especially the older cultures there’s that beautiful sense of spirituality and well-being that is very much a masculine and manly thing. I think that’s the kind that gets lost in this world of putting sports ball and masculine things and [inaudible 00:29:41] and stuff like that. We tend to lose that thing of we need to look after our mental health.

Look at the statistics of how any men have depression in Australia. It’s phenomenal. I think an important part of that is how we view ourselves, how we look at ourselves and how we address our own [00:30:00] mental and spiritual health.

Guy: People are communicating via social media these days. I wonder how often people have a proper conversation.

Rohan: I just turned Instagram off last night, but I’ve actually got to a point where I’m sick of that world I made a big break from it might be a week, it might be a month. I need a break from that because you’re exactly [inaudible 00:30:23] things get taken out of context. For some reason in social media people have this ability to say super nasty things that they would never ever say to a stranger on the street.

I love that, but people tell me that I’m doing it all wrong and they’ll say I’m an asshole, I’m a murderer, saying all these ridiculous things. They would never actually come up to me in the street and say that. Quite often I’ve had people very confrontational. I’ve said, “Okay. Let’s meet and talk this over” and then people just feel secure.

They don’t want real confrontation. It’s a lot easier to do the confrontation by social media.

Stuart: It’s interesting too thinking about the social media, because it’s the very devices that we’re connected to that seem to be taking us away from just that critical component which is engagement and conversation and community as well. Because if you hope on a bus these days, it’s almost silence but the buzzing and worrying and texting. Everybody has got their heads down 45 degrees staring at these screens.

I remember when we came over to Australia 15 years ago, I hoped on a bus coming from London. Just remembered that the whole bus was just engaged in conversation and happiness and I thought, “Wow! This is so unusual. People are really, really enjoying their time together and they’re talking to strangers.” Nowadays if you’re out and about and you’re waiting for somebody it’s almost habitual now to get this out and just tap away on it irrespective of whether [00:32:00] you need to.

Rohan: I’ll say that a lot in places like airports as well. Everyone is just staring at tapping. I’m trying to make an effort to distance myself from it as much. It’s very hard because it’s what keeps me connected with people. As now pretty much my self-purpose is communicating this message and it’s [inaudible 00:32:25] thoughts that I have.

That social media is very important to getting that message over to people. The feedback is really good. I get loads and loads of messages from people saying, “I went to your talk during the week and it was fantastic” or “I read your blog post and I’ve integrated this change into my life and it’s been very important to me and I just want to say thank you and stuff.”

On some level social media has this great power to influence social change. It also attracts some absolute whack job idiots that are quite happy to tell you what they want to tell you. I think that can take its toll on what I was talking about before spiritual and [inaudible 00:33:12].

I could get 1,000 really nice comments. There’s 1 nasty comment that I will get about some sort of topical issue that’s happened and then I’ll focus on and that’s it.

Stuart: Yeah, it is. You’re absolutely right. I was just thinking as well Rohan. How are your family with this journey as well of yours? They’re happily adopting everything that you’re bringing on board.

Rohan: Well, thankfully I’ve got young kids. My plan was kids kind of started off on really the food, my kids did not. I had to do an integration, transition time of integrating real food into my kids’ diet. They just diet off on chicken [00:34:00] nuggets and frozen chips and [inaudible 00:34:01] on soup. It has been quite a journey for the kids, but they’re there, they were eating the food. I’ve had to persevere with some meals and some ingredients. Not everyone likes eggs for example. You just have to try and find what the kids like and focus on those.

My kids understand since now we’re food which is really great. They understand and they look forward to when the tomatoes are back in season. They have an absolute understanding of where the meat comes from. They’ve seen me kill animals, dress animals, gut animals, butcher animals and then cook them. Most kids just see the cooking part, or the buying of the chicken from the supermarket and not actually seeing how there was a living animal.

I think that’s really an important part of the process of showing the kids where the food comes from then they have a better understanding. Then it’s just every day normal life for them. The other day my youngest daughter walked past me while I was plucking a chicken that a friend of a friend gave to me, they live in the city. It was a rooster and they were having a rooster in the city.

Anyway, so they gave me this bird and I reluctantly took it, because I have enough meat in the freezer and plucking chickens in a pain in the butt. That’s why I prefer to shoot rabbits. You can skin and gut a rabbit in a couple of minutes. You got to dedicate half an hour or 40 minutes process to do a chicken properly.

She walked past and she said, “Oh great. We’re having chicken for dinner tonight dad.” That’s where it’s at, at the moment. Some people think that’s barbaric and backwards. You know what? Humans have been living that way for many, many years and it’s only ion recent history that we’ve disassociated ourselves with where our food comes from. Since now …

Stuart: Absolutely.

Guy: I think that’s fantastic.

Rohan: As real food.

Guy: That’s right. There’s like a [00:36:00] veil, isn’t there, between us consuming the food and actually where it comes from. There’s this gap.

Rohan: Yeah. I think on top of that it’s even more scary is that … I’ve seen this in the supermarket. I love visiting the supermarket by the way. You see kids and they’ll be begging mom for these 100% organic fruit only, no additives, no preservatives, fruit juice in a little cardboard [inaudible 00:36:30].

You’re taking a couple of boxes there because you’ve got no preservatives and it’s organic. The problem being is, you’ve got the packing which has got a huge environmental cost and you’ve got that transportation, because a lot of that tropical produce is made from imported farming produce.

The bigger problem is the kid doesn’t have an association with its [inaudible 00:36:53]. It’s plum juice or blackcurrant juice, but that’s what it looks like.

Stuart: Totally. I had to laugh the other day, because I’ve got 3 little girls. Their local school has an environmental initiative. They have 1 day where they have waste free day. Essentially what they do is they’re not allowed any packaging or wrapping or anything like that. All they do is they get the food out the cupboards at home and they take the packaging and the wrapping off. They throw it in the bin and then they take it to school.

Rohan: It’s not really addressing the [inaudible 00:37:33].

Stuart: It’s not a solution and it’s a very low level awareness.

Rohan: Here’s a good one for you. My partner keeps going to a Vasco da Gama school, only one of a couple in the world of those schools. They have a nude food policy and it’s a vegan school, they have to bring vegetarian lunches to school.

There is not one single obese kid there. There is not one kid with food allergies there.

Guy: Nuts, isn’t it?

Rohan: Exactly [00:38:00] and they can eat nuts. Whereas at my kids’ school at the state school, there is obese kids, there’s kids with food allergies so severe that it’s nut in Sesame Street. Because there’s 20 kids out of the entire primary school that have an allergy so severe that they will go into cardiac arrest if they have these nuts [inaudible 00:38:26].
What’s wrong though is the primary school in a way is sponsored by McCain as a company. There’s a factory in that town. When they’re testing new products, if a family from the school takes the product home, test them and then fills out a survey McCain donates $10 for the school.

What hope have those kids got? Quite often kids have brought to school McDonald’s [inaudible 00:39:01] fish and chips, blah, blah, blah. Regularly from the parents to buy the food. That’s a reflection of how serious the serious the situation is [inaudible 00:39:13]. Even not from an environmental point of view, just in a nutritional point of view, that’s a really big problem that we have.

Stuart: It’s radical. I prepare the girls’ lunches every day. Of course I’m always met with a barrage of disappointment as I boil up eggs and I’ve cooked some meat and they’ve got some cheese in there and stuff like that.
In the playgrounds, and it’s chalk and cheese to where we used to be. You mentioned allergies and obesity and stuff like that. In our school when I was younger, I’m in my 40’s now, there was perhaps a token fat kid. Nobody knew what allergies were. Maybe you might go a bit [00:40:00] funny if you got stung by a bee, but food allergies, forget it.
Now, we’re in the same situation where a couple of kids in [inaudible 00:40:09] schools are so allergic that the whole school is banned from taking in the nuts and seeds and the usual suspects. If it’s in a packet it’s great, bring it in.

Rohan: Don’t you think it’s really interesting that we’re having this discussion. We acknowledge the fact that there are kids with such severe allergies that didn’t exist when we were going to school in the 1970s and ‘80s. Yet, what’s being done about it? Nothing. The foods are still on the shelves at the supermarket. It’s still part of people’s lives.
That’s one thing that is absolutely frustrating, is that we know that this food is causing nutritional and health problems yet the food still exist there. I think that’s our biggest challenge over the next couple of decades, is trying to communicate whether it be … I don’t think government is really going to give a crap. As the consumers all of the change that we’re going to make is going to be consumer driven. How do we make consumers change? With about providing information in a format that’s not going to intimidate or annoy anybody to say to say, “Look. This is what’s in your food. This is the problems it’s causing. To address this you can eat your food and then you can fix those problems.”
I did a talk in Queensland a couple of months ago. I got up on stage and I read out the ingredients of processed foods that are bought from the local IGA. I was going to get totally lynched in this country town. I just stood up there and I read it out and there was a couple of hundred people there with dump founded faces like, “What is he talking about?”
I read out, there was numbers and there was words I’ve never heard of before. I threw them off the stage and I said, “That’s not food and that’s what’s making us sick.” I was talking about [00:42:00] sulfites. Anyway a lady went home and she went through her entire cupboard, because her kid has got food allergies, aspirin and blah, blah, blah. It’s her entire cupboard.

She pretty much threw all the food out because everything had the preservatives 220 and all those. She wrote me an email and said, “I feel so guilty. I feel like I’ve been such a bad parent, because I’ve been buying all this food and I didn’t even know. I never ever thought to look at the ingredients.” I think that’s amazing and that used to be me. I never thought to look at the ingredients. I don’t know why. I was out of my mind.
Now when my partner buys … She wants to make some diet vows or something. In the habit of please check the sulfites. You don’t want to have sulfites in your food. It’s a whole food, it’s a diet. It’s got to be totally fine. No, it’s got sulfites.

Stuart: Yeah. It’s still tricky when you hit the whole ingredients. I think that’s a huge part of the problem, is the education from at least the parents’ perspective. They are losing grasp on skills and cultural traditions that their parents and grandparents had.
Because I remember my nan and granddad had a veggie garden and everyone had a veggie garden. We used to go down, when I used to go and see them on Sundays and I would help them pick their runner beans and their potatoes and carrots and pilled the sprouts and stuff like that.

They lived in a very long thin garden with no fences left and right. When you looked down you just saw veggie gardens as far as the eye could see. My parents we grew potatoes and stuff like that. Nowadays crushing, who in their right mind, at least in the city even considers a veggie garden? Because we’re in this convenience mind now, “Well, I can get my studs, my dates and prunes from Coles.

They have been tampered for shelf life and convenience and all the other gumpf. It’s these cultures and traditions that [00:44:00] we’re very much losing grasp of nowadays. Even cooking and meal times, again, which is where we communicate with the family and distress and really nourish the family is gone. A lot of this now is just put the TV on and chow down and stare at your mobile phone.

Rohan: That’s why I got rid of my television years ago. Because every time I used to get home from work it’s the first thing I turn on. Even if I wasn’t watching it, it’s just noise in the background and the kids [inaudible 00:44:38] or whatever. It’s been quite life changing.

I annoy people by telling them I don’t have a television. Who needs a television, if you’ve got a laptop, you’ve got a computer, you’ve got Instagram that’s all you need.

Stuart: Exactly.

Guy: Yeah.

Rohan: You can get all the world news off that and it’s done. Every time I’ve been on tour, like I said for the month [inaudible 00:45:01] alone watching television and sitting there and just laughing at what is on television. There’s some absolute rubbish on television. I think it’s not until it’s habitual to watch television and it’s not until you distance yourself away from it.

It’s not an arrogant thing, I’m a better person because I don’t watch television. It’s that there is a lot of rubbish on television that is making you buy crap you don’t need and eat food you shouldn’t be eating and consuming stuff you don’t need. That’s the whole purpose of television, it’s there to advertise.

Stuart: It is totally. Currently you could sit down and burn 2 or 3 hours a night. When you mentioned that you tend to your veggie garden, you might go for a walk. That’s valuable time that we could push in a different direction.

Rohan: Summer time is that beautiful time of the year where my family is outside until nightfall. It’s just kids are on the [00:46:00] trampoline or they’re playing some little game under the cypress tree. I’m in the veggie garden just hanging out. We tend to cook outside a lot in summer time. That’s really great family time, we’re all connected. We’re hanging out. We have a bit of cuddle with the kids and they go off. They get bored and they go play some game. Then they want to tell you about their game. It’s a much better life.

Stuart: Your kids will remember those times. They probably won’t remember watching episode 21 of the Simpsons.

Rohan: Exactly.

Guy: Exactly, yeah.

Stuart: You got a new book, ‘A Year of Practiculture’. I just wonder whether you could share with our audience a little bit about the book. First talk, what is practiculture, because I’m not familiar with that word?

Rohan: It’s really just a very easy way to describe my approach to life. One point you’re talking about your grandparents having veggies in their backyard. They’re all very practical skills. Cooking is a practical skill. Food preservation is a practical skill. All those things are all part of my life. I just wrote a [inaudible 00:47:10] practical skill. My life is practical and pretty much most tasks that I do they would be kneading bread ore baking some, raising some [inaudible 00:47:23] some vegetables or grilling some zucchini. All very practical task.

My lifestyle is based in that practical task and as it was in the past for many people. If you spend time say, somewhere [inaudible 00:47:43] in the rural areas there everyone is doing practical tasks. What my life is all about at a place talking about that present culture of doing practical tasks that have a great outcome for you that has food that is good [inaudible 00:48:00] [00:48:00] nutritional integrity. That hasn’t been tampered with. You’ve grown it all. You now have freshly. It doesn’t have chemicals in it.

You’re doing practical tasks that give you a little bit of physical exercise. Enough physical exercise leads to a little bit of spiritual and mental health, because you’ve got endorphins [inaudible 00:48:13] and that’s what practiculture is.

Stuart: Perfect.

Guy: Fantastic.

Rohan: I completely made up a [inaudible 00:48:20].

Stuart: I like it.

Rohan: I started with a mapping garden that turned to a workshop once and said, “Everything you do you’re so practical. You have a very practical culture.” He said, “Practiculture. You can use that” and I did.

Guy: I tell you it looks absolutely beautiful book. I’ve only seen the electronic version which was sent through the other week for the podcast. It looks stunning and I can just envision it as I sit on my coffee table and flicking through that and getting a lot of wisdom from what you’ve learned for sure.

Rohan: The thing is [inaudible 00:48:55] there are almost I think about 100 [inaudible 00:48:59]. There is lots of words in there and that’s the important thing. I actually got trimmed down by the publisher. I wrote so many words, because it’s telling the story of what happens in my life over a period of a year. Like when you asked that question before, what’s a day in the life of Rohan Anderson? Because more importantly, what’s a year in the life?

Because it runs on a cycle of using spring, summer and autumn to prepare for winter. That’s what the book is about. There’s all these stories and tales and thoughts all the way through the book that you might get an interesting read through.

Guy: Brilliant. What percentage of your foods come from your own efforts Rohan? Is it everything you do?

Rohan: Yeah. It’s either directly or indirectly, I would say. You’d be looking around about somewhere between 70% or 80%. I don’t churn my own butter. I don’t milk cows, so all the dairy comes from somewhere else. Pretty much most of the vegetables come from the [00:50:00] backyard.

If they’re not coming from my backyard I do a lot of trade, so [inaudible 00:50:05] I can swap with someone who’s been successful with the eggplant. A lot of trade is happening and I also hunt wild deer and I can trade with my pig farming friend for pork products.
Indirectly it’s somebody else who has produced that food, a friend of mine but I’m trading with something that I’ve done the practical task or I have butchered the deer and then [inaudible 00:50:35] then swap it for some bacon.

You’d be surprised how much food comes in through the backyard over the warm period at summer. It’s abnormal how much food you can get in the backyard.

Guy: Fantastic.

Rohan: Ranging from herbs and fruits and nuts and vegetables, we have a lot of stuff. If you’ve got a small backyard you may not get the great variety. That’s why say for example I’ll put it that [inaudible 00:51:05] fruit choice. I don’t have a great variety and all of my grape trees area all still immature. I think it’s ripe for this year.

I grow a lot of jalapenos. I’m really good at growing jalapenos in my [inaudible 00:51:21] tunnel and people love jalapenos. I can trade those jalapenos for cabbage. You know what I mean?

Guy: Yeah.

Rohan: Another thing that we’ve lost in that human culture is that the only reason we are so technologically advanced and we’ve built all these amazing infrastructure, human built environment is because we’re like ants. We work together as a team. That’s the same basic principle that I utilize with food acquisition. I can grow jalapenos. I can swap a bag of jalapenos for a kilo of prunes.

It’s a great working [00:52:00] together as community, that’s something that I’ve really fostered.

Guy: That’s fantastic. I instantly think of you almost teaching a retreat down there for city slackers that could come down and spend the weekend or a week and being taught all these things. I think so many people these days are just completely disconnected from how to do that.

Rohan: Yeah. I’m actually setting that up.

Guy: Oh wow!

Rohan: The nursery project which I attract that funding last year or the year before. This summer I’m starting to build a shed to run the classes. We’re going to miss the bud for this summer, but next summer we’ll have the kangaroo tents up and we’ll be having demonstration vegetable garden orchid. Then I’ll be adding classes and teach people the basics of my lifestyle. It’s not that matter of saying, “This is the right way, it’s the only way.” It’s more of a point of saying, “This is what I do. This is why I do it. If you want to integrate this into your lifestyle so be it.”

Guy: Brilliant. Stu are you going to say something?

Stuart: I just had a thought of you tending a chicken nugget bush out on your veranda, that kind of stuff. Just thinking Rohan, we’re in the city right now in Sydney and in an apartment. Obviously a lot of our friends and associates are living the apartment lifestyle as well. We don’t have access to garden, veggie hatch or green space that way. What can we do, do you think, right now just to make small changes?

Rohan: I get asked this question all the time and there are many answers. To begin with, if you were a person that was living in an apartment eating processed food. The first step would be moving away from [00:54:00] those aisles in the supermarket and starting to be attracted to the aisles where there is actual vegetables and fruit and meat. Then aside from that area and maybe buy some spices and some fresh herbs as opposed to processed herbs in a tube.

That’s the first step and that will give you a nutritional wing in a way. That will be the first step in improving your nutrition. You’ll really be controlling the amount of salt and sugar in your diet. You’ll be reducing the amount of preservatives in your diet and that’s a great thing.

By doing that you’re not really addressing the chemicals that are applied to the fresh produce. Where I live in summer time helicopters flapping in the middle of [inaudible 00:54:41] helicopters boom spray with these huge booms on either side of the helicopter. Come and spray all the food that ends up being sold to humans.

It’s to control the insects or the caterpillars or the other bugs. The problem being is a lot of this stuff is systemic. By saying systemic, it gets into the plant system. It’s gets into the fruiting body which ends up in the supermarket and then you eat it. The next step for the person living in the apartment in Sydney is to try and search as much as possible and consume further these chemical food.

That’s how food has been produced for thousands of years. Our bodies are not designed at all to deal with active constituents like [inaudible 00:55:23] and all those preservatives. The next step would be to look at chemical sprayed food. Even we want to take a next step further than that, would be I’m going to go for whole foods that are chemical free and they’re local.

This is an amazing phenomenon for me to actually have to point out those 3 things in this era is hilarious. Because in years past humans were always buying local chemical free and whole fruits.

Stuart: That’s right, yeah.

Rohan: The fact that I’m having an interview trying [00:56:00] to communicate that is an indictment on our culture.

Stuart: It’s absurd, isn’t it?

Rohan: It is absolutely absurd for me to be saying that. It should just be part of our everyday life. Taking it even a step further than that is things like say community support agriculture. There’s a great thing in Brisbane called Food Connect Brisbane. Basically what it is, it’s a website where 100 different farmers are all connected.

You go on the website as a consumer and you pick all the food you want to buy. That creates a manifest and the manifest is given to all the farmers. They pick the food. They kill the pig and make the bacon by the way and they’re delivered to that distribution center and then it gets sent out to you.

You’re supporting, you know who the farmers are. It’s all listed on the website. You know who the farmers are, you know where the food is coming from. You’re eating relatively locally and you’re eating in season. At times you can even click the dropdown menu and say, “I want mine to be chemical free or organic.” They are the other steps. You can use that technology if you like.

There are some other different systems and schemes that are similar to say like Veg Box systems. I offer one over the summer period where we sell a box of organic vegetables for one farmer instead of [inaudible 00:57:14] 30 years to families down in Melbourne. It’s simply people jumping on the website, they order the box.

It’s about 12 to 15 kilos of organic mixed vegetables. I’ll say that again. 15 kilos at peak season of organic vegetables for $55. I just want to say to people, do not tell me that eating organic is expensive. Find a better alternative than buying the expensive organic crap at the supermarket and you’ll still be eating organic.

To answer the question you used. It’s up to everybody to find their own answers if you want it bad enough. Say you’re obese. I was obese. If I wanted to not be obese bad enough that meant I had to go jogging. If you want it bad enough you’ll [00:58:00] investigate the answers that are right for you.

That’s the problem being is, we may have times when I present talk and people put their hand up and say, “How do I do this? Give me the answers.” The problem being is we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves. Everyone does the thinking for us. You get to that point where you’re like, “Oh God!” The answers are there right in front of you. If you want the answers you can find them. It’s almost like everyone needs a Yoda to tell them, “Ask many questions you do.”

That’s the amazing thing is that we’re always saying, “Well, how do I fix this?” That’s like me going to Weight Watchers and saying, “Look. I’m fat. Give me the answers. Tell me what I need to do.” I couldn’t think for myself. Now it’s gotten to that point where I’ve had that matrix moment and it’s like, I can’t stop thinking for myself.

Stuart: We use, strangely enough, exactly the same analogy of taking that pill and when you take that pill you realize that you are in a world surrounded by just absurdities wherever you look. People chewing on all these crazy plastic food and getting sick and taking pills and getting health spiraling out of control.

Rohan: Energy drinks. Do you see people drinking energy drinks? I want to go up and slap them in the face. I want to get the can and just crunch it on their head and say, “Wake up! What are you putting in your body? Do you even know what this stuff is?” It’s amazing.
Stuart: It’s the funny thing. Again, I was only thinking about the red bull phenomenon this morning as I was walking the kids to school. I saw this one young lad and he had a can of red bull. In England when we were younger, the fashion was you’d go out into the clubs and you would drink red bull and vodka. The downside was that you couldn’t get to sleep when you got back from the clubs.

When you actually pull those drinks apart and realize what you’re actually doing to yourself, it is red alert [01:00:00] for your body when you’re down in this nonsense.
One other thing I wanted to raise as well, because you were talking about spraying of fruits and vegetables and stuff like that. About 20 years ago me and my wife as we were travelling around the world we spent 6 months fruit picking in New Zealand on the south island. We picked cherries and apricots and had a great time eating all these fruit.
We did it for literally 5 or 6 months. At the end of the time when we were going to head off up north, there was a big meeting and a farewell barbecue. One of the guys came out and said, “I just want to make sure that all of you guys are aware that we spray all of our fruits and vegetables to keep the pests off. It does interfere with the female contraceptive pill. Just be mindful if any of you guys are in relationships. Your pill might not work if you’re eating our fruit.”

Rohan: Those are alarm bells. It’s like, we have this knowledge yet the [inaudible 01:01:01]. I often scratch my head and just say, “WTF.” It’s not just ignorance. We’ve got enough information. There’s enough in regards to nutrition. There’s enough books on TV shows about nutrition. We have the knowledge. It’s not that we’re ignorant about it, it’s we’re stupid. We can’t make the right decisions.

I don’t know how to change that other than having some personal medical drama and then saying, “Oh I’m on the side of the vegetables they’re not sprayed with chemicals.” I just don’t [inaudible 01:01:46].

Guy: Yeah, it’s a tough one.

Stuart: I think food is the right place to start, because when you’re fueling yourself and nourishing yourself properly you feel better, you sleep better and they’re not going to affect you because you start to make more informed [01:02:00] decisions. When you’re zombified it doesn’t work so well.

Guy: I’m just aware of the time guys. Rohan, what we do, we have a couple of wrap up questions we ask every guest on the podcast. The first one is, have you read any books that have had a great impact on your life and what were they?

Rohan: I like reading Louis L’Amour who is a western author. The reason why I love that is because you see the world and you can probably by the end of the podcast you’d be thinking, “This Rohan Anderson is an absolute nut job.”

You can see how absolutely stuffed the world is and it just gets really depressing. I read these old western novels. There’s hundreds and hundreds that’s written with the classic well known American author. The reason being is that at the end of the book the good guy always wins.

That’s what gets me to sleep at night knowing that there’s always lots of gun fights and punching and goodies and baddies stuff and that’s fine. I do love that. On a serious note about nutrition and food and all the things that I do now, there is a book that I always talk about called The Unprejudiced Palate by Angelo Pellegrini. It was written in 1948. This guy was an Italian immigrant in America that got frustrated with eating pretty blunt American food. It start off as more of culinary perspective of as a blindness in, “What is this cheese? This American cheese is disgusting.”

Being an Italian immigrant he reverted back to his roots in Tuscany and started growing his own food and hunting. The way the books is written, it’s not the best written book, but I found it super-inspirational many years ago when I was taking punch to … It was one of the books that got me even more fueled up about the need to be on that self-reliance train of growing my own food and hunting.

Guy: Could you repeat the name of the author and the book?

Rohan: The Unprejudiced Palate by Angelo Pellegrini. [01:04:00]

Guy: Perfect.

Rohan: The things is as well, beside this absolutely beautiful book it’s only $9.95 and it holds the biggest inspiration for me to get [inaudible 01:04:10]. I would love to buy a million dollars’ worth of it and just walk down the streets and just hand it to people, give them for free, like one of those evangelistic religious people. It’s a really inspirational book. The basic principle is about growing your own food and cooking. Not a lot of recipes in there, but the other thing that was important for me when I was very [inaudible 01:04:35] working 6 days a week, earning loads of money but very, very miserable worlds.
This notion that this guy had about the idea that you get to this great sense of achievement of planting carrots and the carrots grow up and then you cooked a meal with the carrots and it’s a great sense of achievement. I think even identifying that in 1948 it is groundbreaking, because in 2015 most of our lives are unfulfilling.

We go to work, we sit at an office, we get a salary. Then we take that salary, we go to a supermarket, we purchase stuff. We go buy a new car, we go buy a house. It’s unfulfilling. Our bills alone happened a couple of years back. It was the most rewarding experience in my adult life. I chopped down the trees, I skimmed the trees. I built the log cabin and then I smoked food in it with a smoke house.

That experience was basically a social experience for me. It was trying to complete a task. You start to fruition and then tell the story about it and see what people thought about that. It was quite an interesting experience. I think that’s something I was lacking. That book absolutely life change informed.

Guy: Brilliant. I’ll get a copy of that and we’ll definitely link that in the show notes. Last question Rohan. What’s [01:06:00] the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Rohan: I really don’t know. Best piece of advice? I think it was probably in regards to cooking. When I first moved out of home, mom taught me this basic recipe then I called it hers. She used a lot red wine. I was like, “You’re using red wine in cooking?” As such a simple thing coming from a young version of me that had never cooked in my life. The notion of cooking with alcohol to enhance the flavor and all that stuff, basically opened the door for me. If that’s possible, what else is possible?

I think for me was basically the development of my sense of independence and just a sense of trying different things. I write about that all the time. I share that I had victories when I try something that works and also I share in the fails. Being given that knowledge of using, this is how [inaudible 01:07:07] you have onions, you have the mints, but then you out wine in, then you put the passata in and then you put your herbs and then you let it simmer.

Just the amazing input of information which is quite trivial, which you put red wine into [inaudible 01:07:20] at the time, I just remembered how groundbreaking that information was. Which then made me thing, “You know what, what else is possible?” Each of the [inaudible 01:07:29].

Guy: Bloody awesome. For anyone listening to this, would like to know more about you and get the book as well. What would be the best place to go Rohan?
Rohan: You can go to any good bookstore in Australia or New Zealand at the moment. US releases are out for next year, but you can also go into a whole lot of love come and buy directly to me. If you do I’ll give you the [inaudible 01:07:51].

Guy: Fantastic mate. Mate, that was absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your [01:08:00] journey. That was just simply awesome. It’s greatly appreciated. Thanks Rohan.

Rohan: All right thanks guys.

Stuart: That’s awesome. Thanks again Rohan.

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3 Key Reasons Why We Sabotage Our Health Goals (and how to handle them like a Ninja!)

sabotage health goals

Angela: Willpower can be hard thing for a lot of us. Sometimes we do things automatically without much thought. Are you finding it hard to stay on the wagon and when you fall off it’s hard to get back on?

I truly believe if you get your mindset right you can achieve anything. If you are finding it hard to achieve your goals, health or otherwise, this is a must read post by Amy. She is a Strategic Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Coach. As you can see you are in great hands! Over to Amy…

Amy: So you’ve decided its time to get fit and drop those pesky 5 kilos once and for all. Or perhaps you’ve reached a certain level of health but seem to have plateaued.

Maybe since becoming a parent you’ve been too exhausted or perhaps your job is so demanding that your best intentions go out the window. Or maybe you’re just in a rut or you just don’t seem to be able to stick to a routine.

If any of these sound familiar, then there’s some GOOD NEWS. And it’s this:

You do know how to stick to a routine very well (true!). It’s just that you perhaps haven’t yet defined and committed to the one that best serves you.

 

Cognitive Toolkit

cognitive brain functionSo what if all you needed was a toolkit of new cognitive based knowledge and skills that ensured that your tailored exercise and nutrition routine became as normal and effortless as showering or cleaning your teeth every day?

To understand how this is absolutely doable for you, let’s just talk a bit about the inner workings of that wonderful and sometimes mysterious organ of ours, the brain specifically in regards to willpower.

We rely on willpower more times a day than we could count to help us decide if we will do something, wont do something or want to do something. Our willpower comes from our prefrontal cortex, which is one capacity that separates us from other animals.

The prefrontal cortex is significantly responsible for our ability to control our behaviour. And we really can (YOU really can) jig this in your favour. You see our prefrontal cortex houses our ‘self control muscle’. Whilst it can do a wonderful job it does get compromised by our stress levels, which are, let’s face it, sky rocketing these days.

Changing your cognitive behaviour

So what can you do to ninja this scenario? Like many elite institutions including Yale and Stanford Universities in the US,

a) you could and should support your ‘self control muscle’ by managing your stress levels through mindfulness and/or meditation (whatever techniques work best for you) and

b) refining your unconscious cognitive patterns using evidence based therapeutic techniques like clinical hypnosis and strategic psychotherapy (if you want to know more let’s chat!)

It’s interesting when we realise that each one of us has our unique cognitive style or blueprint.

And did you know that these are arguably essentially set into our unconscious faculties by the time we are 7 years old based on key influences like our family and social environments?

The really scary bit is that these cognitive or mental patterns influence how we habitually perceive, interpret and respond to the world for the rest of our lives UNLESS we actively choose to refine them!

So the question to ask yourself is – are you going to be one of those many who do not look under the hood or does the idea of creating your life by DESIGN rather than by DEFAULT interest you more?

Top 3 Reasons That Could Be Holding You Back

Do you wonder why you’re not (yet but soon will be) hitting the mark? By the way, the great athletes have always known these secrets…..

We operate from an emotional frame i.e. let our feelings dictate our behaviour.

We don’t have the optimal process in place to support our desired outcomes – the right steps. We respond from a place of present orientation (the now state) rather than factoring in the (major) importance of our desired future outcome.

So let’s flesh these out….

1. EMOTIONAL FRAME

bright ideaWhen we let our emotions decide what we do: we stay in bed where it’s warm and cosy rather than get up, get out and get moving; we buy that sweet treat to help push us through the mid afternoon slump rather than go for a walk around the block, do 20 star jumps or close the door and meditate.

So how can you ninja this? It begins with the art and science of observation.

The first step is to commit to monitoring your responses during the day. You can have fun with this and consider yourself a PIY (Private Investigator of Yourself)! We’re all busy so this can be challenging but even if you can commit to doing it for an hour a day it will make a difference. A journal comes in handy here. Notice the thoughts, situations and feelings that most affect you negatively. Why? Because these negative responses move us into the ‘fight or flight’ mode of operating. This response served us very well when we needed to avoid being eaten by predators a while back however these days this mode just zaps our adrenals and negatively affects our physiology across many of our body systems.

The key is once you become more aware and therefore in control of your behaviour you will have the space to consciously make decisions according to your values rather than your feelings or old automatic patterns.

2. THE RIGHT PROCESS

Off target We need to combine a solid process for our goals with desire and motivation if we are to complete the success equation. Desire without skill will not get you where you want to go, nor will skill without desire.

Often people have some sort of a process but it’s too vague or unclear. For instance, ‘I commit to exercising 3 or more times a week’. This is a nice idea but unless your process is more specific and measurable and therefore makes you accountable then your results will be mediocre at best. The right process can be as simple as:

  • 10 minutes of breath work and stretching as soon as you wake each day
  • A 15-minute walk around the block each workday (perhaps at the 2pm slump)
  • 6-7am Monday, Wednesday and Friday – a Crazy Awesome Fitness Session
  • 9am Sunday mornings – a cliff walk with a friend, swim, surf or yoga class

When you schedule your ‘Ninja Action Plan’ into your diary it becomes a given rather than a negotiation less of course the occasional unavoidable situations like when the dog really did eat your runners!

The same of course goes with nutrition. If your process and steps for maximizing your health through nutrition are clear then you’re far more likely to stick with them. Instead of “I want to eat less sugar and drink less wine’ perhaps you could develop a weekly meal plan, shop up and cook up every Sunday and let Saturday be your ‘free’ day where you can eat and drink whatever you want.

There is no substitute for preparation. If you have a healthy snack on hand when the hangers (‘hungry angries’) strike then you wont find yourself regretting a ‘would you like that fries with that?’ oopsie!

Hot tip – schedule all this goodness into your calendar. Have fun experimenting with creating your own daily routines that are both realistic but also stretch you to a higher grade of living.

3. FUTURE ORIENTATION

make the most of lifeThe final key is something that elite performers in sport, business, the arts or any field are well attuned to; They have their eye very firmly on the prize.

An athlete’s goal to win Olympic Gold – future orientation – encodes all of their present behaviours including not allowing any feelings of resistance to rule their actions or inactions. I can guarantee you they don’t feel like getting up at 4am six mornings a week to bust out laps for hours but they do it anyway. Day in. Day out. Their coaches help to ensure that a rock solid process for goal attainment is in place.

Being completely committed to a goal means that your chosen and passionately desired future becomes the source of your present actions. When you focus in this way you are innately driven to do what needs to be done regardless of the challenges that cross your path. This is where coaches and therapists can have a massive influence by helping to define the goal, lock in the process and be both your No. 1 cheer leader and critic so that the desire, commitment, steps and ability are all there. This puts the future outcome front and centre. Exactly where it needs to be.

Conclusion

I hope these insights have sparked your interest in just how powerful your mind really is and what you can achieve as many of my clients have discovered. I encourage you to steal some precious time to ask yourself some simple but profoundly important questions. Who do you want to become? What do you need to get there? Do you have clear goals or do they need re-thinking?

If you need help trouble shooting or optimizing your health goals (fine tuning those Ninja skills) I’d be delighted to support you in making real change. Change facilitation is always far more effective and fun when you don’t try to go it alone.

Using the latest in neuroscience we can refine your cognitive patterns so that you operate from a set of values that support you both consciously and unconsciously.

Exercise and good nutrition can and should be strengthening, energizing and empowering components to your balanced and fun-filled life. With the right approach optimal health is very achievable.

So keep moving, learning and enjoying the process. Amy :)

Dr_Amy_Atkin_Psychotherapist__150Amy is a Strategic Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Coach. She is passionate about helping people not only feel better but also do better.

She is also a busy mum and a tragic disco music fan.

You can find her here: The Modern Mind Clinic.

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5 Excuses That Could Be Holding You Back & How to Overcome Them

no more excuses

By Guy Lawrence

ex-cuseTo explain in the hope of being forgiven or understood…

After seeing many goals and commitments flop from working in the health and fitness industry, I thought I would add my two cents worth to help make habits stick (tongue firmly in cheek of course!).

Big thanks to everyone who shared their ‘best excuses they’ve heard when it comes to poor food choices & not exercising’ on our Facebook page.

You can see the full list of ‘best excuses’ on our Facebook page here.

Top 5 Diet & Exercise Excuses

1. I do eat healthy

Says they who eat gluten free cupcakes and chocolate. Get real! Write everything down that goes in your mouth for a week, present it to the healthiest person you know and then talk about it.

2. Eating healthy & a gym membership is too expensive

Expensive compared to what? Your health? The very one thing you can’t live without. Maybe it’s time to reassess where those values lie.

3. I don’t like the taste of healthy food

Are you serious! Healthy food tastes amazing. Maybe you should kick your sugar addiction that’s drastically got your taste buds off kilter. Eradicate all sugar and sweet stuff from your life for a month then we talk some more.

4. I don’t have time

This one is a classic! The most precious commodity in the world that we all have equal amounts of, yet it can be magically warped into an unfair amount for those who can’t miss that TV show. Or is it simply that they don’t want it bad enough? Mmmm…

5. I don’t know what to eat

Really? With the zillions of blogs, recipes and books and instant access to Google you’re telling me you don’t know what to eat? This one shouldn’t even be in your vocabulary.

Time To Crush It

1. How bad do you want it?

There’s a big difference between talking it up and actually doing it. Don’t be one of those people that build a life raft out of excuses and just bob around in it committed with out the commitment. It’s like buying organic chocolate instead of a Mars Bar. As Nike say, just do it! Don’t wait for the planets to align with an outside temperature between 18-22°. Just start, no matter how small just start. The rewards can be massive and far outweigh any feeling you get from succumbing to that sugar fix!

2. Is your WHY big enough?

Go the WHY Power! There’s a massive motivating difference between being told you have high blood pressure and you are three steps away from having a heart attack to say, sitting in your office chair all day munching on your 3pm chocolate cookie with a nice middle age spread thinking, ah yes one day soon I’ll move this big butt into action. See the difference? You’ve got to dig deep and get real, because if your WHY ain’t big enough, the only thing that’s going to be looking slim are your chances!

3. Are you truly being honest with yourself?

This one helps with the Why Power. If being brutally honest with yourself makes you feel seriously uncomfortable then GOOD! If you are still bobbing around on that life raft of excuses on the ocean of comfort, then maybe it’s time you got a little uncomfortable and took a new approach. Try these for size; Get the tape measure out and find out your true girth measurements. Take a photograph of you in your swimmers front and back and take a look at yourself from a third persons perspective… like what you see? Get a full health check up or get your body fat measured. Anything, just be brutally honest! Trust me, you will look back in time and be thankful that you did. Remember, we move away from pain much quicker than we do by simply just trying to head to what we actually want, which in most cases is nowhere! Just don’t stay in denial, as it feels like punishment for crimes you didn’t commit and you’ll come to a screaming halt and start complaining ‘why me?’.

4. Are you living in the moment?

When Sir Edmund Hillary was asked how the hell did you climb Mount Everest, his response was ‘one step at a time’. So what is your Everest? Have a clear defined goal and know what you want, but always pull it back to the moment. When you are about to cave into that sugar fix or that self-sabotaging talk, this is that one step. But it also presents the perfect opportunity to take the step in the right direction. So when you want to cave, think of Edmund and ask yourself are you living in the moment.

5. Are you hanging out with the right people?

This one may seem a little harsh, but if your mate is wafting a chocolate cookie under your nose whilst you are on sugar free mission, you have got to wonder right? True friends will support you and not try to ram unhealthy choices down your throat to justify their own actions. Changing habits is tough enough as it is, so if you want to make it happen, hang out with people who actually walk their talk when it comes to health and exercise. Don’t be intimidated by this, most people that live and breath health are only to happy to help others who are genially trying to change. Just don’t be one of those people at the party saying ‘I really do want to eat better’ as you chow down on your third sausage roll followed by the chocolate cheese cake.

I’m sure this could have been a top 500 post, but you get the idea. Jokes aside, I honestly believe if we can put our hand on heart (yes do it now) and say I’m totally happy with where I’m at, then who is anyone to say differently? But if you do catch yourself making excuses to justify the actions that go against what makes you truly happy, then maybe it is time to dig deep and go for it! Seriously, what have you got to lose?

Do you have any great excuses you’ve heard or awesome ways to crush them? Or are you struggling to start? We would love to hear, as your comments below help other too. Awesome, Guy

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The ultimate weight control formula

180 Nutrition Podcast

Podcast episode #6

By Guy Lawrence

Donna&ToraIs it time to take control of your health?

In this episode of The Health Sessions I hangout with Donna & Tora the weight control experts. Their motto is (love this!) health is a lifestyle, not a life sentence. With a great message to health, weight loss and weight control it is a pleasure to have them on the show.

Download or subscribe to us on iTunes here.

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When to eat bananas

when to eat bananas

Guy: As you can imagine we get a lot of email enquiries. Can I eat fruit if I’m on a weight loss plan? Is it possible that bananas make me fat? Is it ok to eat bananas whilst I’m trying to lose weight? You get the gist of it right… So it has inspired me to right this post.

First of all, I eat bananas. I not only eat them I enjoy them. So this is not a banana bashing post. But in saying that, I only eat them on certain occasions, and for me it’s all about personal circumstances (weight loss/weight gain) and timing.

Nutritional value to consider

One large banana, say 7 inches will contain roughly 30g of carbohydrates, 3g of fibre, 2g of protein and 0.5g of fat, along with multiple vitamins and minerals (including high content of potassium) to boot. If you want to know exactly what’s in the banana click here.

Out of those 30g of carbohydrates 6-8g will be fructose. (I wrote an in-depth article on fructose here).

Light Bulb moment #1! Carbohydrate when ingested raises blood sugar. That banana is the equivalent to 5-6 teaspoons of sugar, with 1-2 of those being fructose.

 
So where am I going with this?

With the basic nutritional values above lets look at how they can be applied to different circumstances.

I’m trying to lose weight

From my experience, anyone I see who is trying to lose a few kgs/lbs generally has a fairly high carbohydrate diet.

Light Bulb moment #2! Every time you eat mainly carbs, you will create an insulin response. And whilst there is insulin being produced you will not be able to burn body fat. So if you are going to remember one thing, remember that.

 
The nutrient packed banana is carb heavy. When you compare them to fresh strawberries it’s over four times the amount of carbs. So the first thing I’d say would be to add up how many carbs you are eating in a day and then factor the banana in. It soon adds up! And the other thing to remember is activity levels. If you are living a fairly inactive daily routine, then the amount of carbs matters even more.

My weight loss tip -

If you are not sure, eat berries/strawberries instead as they have a lower carbohydrate sugar/fructose content.

If you are wanting bananas, have half instead mixed in a smoothie with more protein and fat (personally I throw in half an avocado with my smoothie along with 180 protein supplement). By doing this you will slow the insulin response down which of course is better for weight loss. The other option is to eat some nuts along with half a banana whilst snacking, as this will have the same effect.

Exercising and trying to lose weight

Personally I’d stick to the same principles as I’ve mentioned above until you reach your ideal weight goals. I’d also include a weight training program with a minimum of twice a week. This will help improve muscle mass and control insulin levels better due to better muscle glycogen storage.

It’s enough to drive you bananas

What do I do? I generally throw in half a banana in my smoothies as mentioned above, and I’ll often have a full banana after an intense CrossFit session to help replenish glycogen stores. Now bare in mind I train 4-6 days a week and I’m not looking to lose weight. My body fat sits around 10-12% and I’m happy with that. But if I decided I would like to get my abs popping out for whatever reason, I’d probably let the humble banana go for a while.

So what should you do? That’s for you to decide, but hopefully the few things I mentioned above have helped.

Would love to hear your thoughts… Do you eat them? Fructose? Fruit?

When do you eat bananas?… Guy

On a side note: I truly enjoy writing these posts, hence our frequent blog posts. At the end of the day though, these are just my thought’s and feelings around a topic I’m passionate about. I encourage everyone to do their own research and check out the facts for themselves.

If you did enjoy the post and got something from it or have something to share on the topic, I would love to hear your thought’s in the comments section below. If you feel others would benefit from this then it would be great if you could share it using one of the icons below (Facebook etc). Cheers, Guy…

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Resilience: Rising above adversity

resilience

By Eleasa Mullavey

“That which does not destroy, strengthens”

Guy: When the draft for this post arrived in my inbox a week ago, I thought to myself ‘love this!’ and was figuring out the best time to publish it over the next month. Little did I know it would take on so much meaning so quickly. I’m very sad to say my dad passed away a few days later and the relevance of this post has come to the forefront for me. So I wanted to share this beautiful written post for anyone who maybe going through their own personal challenges. Over to Eleasa… More

Living in Permanent Rush Hour? Steps I take to leave the 9-5 behind & do what I love

leave the rat race behind

By Guy Lawrence

“The harder I prepare, the luckier I seem to get.” – Michael Jordan

It’s 5am, I’m jet-lagged and I’ve just spent the last half hour answering emails, going over stock and now I’m writing a blog post. My eyeballs are so red I think they just might explode! Why am I doing this? Because I love it!

I’m feeling in a slightly reflective mood as another year almost comes to an end. Due to a few personal circumstances (which has really hammered home to me that we should be making the most of it – life), I felt it was a good time to share with you the steps that I take and continue to take as I move towards one of the values that I defend to the end – Do what you love. And the great thing about this is that it far outweighs any moniterial value, it just so happens if you have the courage to follow through, the money begins to turn up and you  earn a living by doing the stuff you love best. More

Can’t Switch Off? 4 Steps to Help Slow Down & De-Stress

4 ways to help de-stress

By Eleasa Mullavey

“Before we can create peace among nations, we have to find peace inside that small nation which is our own being” – B.K.S. Iyengar

I don’t know about you, but as I get older my life seems to be speeding up. There is always something to do, somewhere to go, some place to be. I just can’t shake the feeling that I am increasingly running on overdrive. Busy, busy, busy consumed with tasks that focus me externally rather than internally. This experience it seems is far from unique.

My clients regularly report that they just can’t cope with life’s increasing responsibilities. We can’t deny that we live in a rapidly changing world with advancements in technology keeping us connected 24/7. Is this good? In many ways yes … we are more efficient and can easily work remotely and globally. We can keep in contact and market our businesses without actually having to leave the house (or speak with anyone). Great huh? Well let’s consider the flip side. What is the impact of this fast, frantic and constantly churning society that we now live?

Has the improvement in ability to communicate (for example, sending emails rather than letters) led to a reduction in work hours? Most certainly not!! In fact, for the majority of us, the result has been quite the opposite. We now work harder and longer hours, whilst expected to respond to work emails during the evening and on weekends. We are constantly on the computer or iPhone. Switched on 24/7.

The result?

I believe that despite the fact that we are more seemingly more connected than ever, we are actually more disconnected to the things that matter. We are unhappy, overworked and burnt out. Many of us are chronically stressed yet don’t even realise it. I hear people saying, they can’t switch off, cant sleep, agitated, can’t make a decision, moody, suffer headaches, have neck tension and the list goes on. They are fighting with their partners, colleagues, children and friends. Ultimately, they are fighting with themselves, reacting to a constant stream of internal chatter. And let me tell you this chatter is usually far from positive. In such a hectic world we pay less attention to our inner world than ever. Life has become so busy that we have forgotten the art of going slow, creating awareness and nurturing inner peace.

What’s the solution?

Step 1)   Work out what is important. As things speed up, we need to take control and learn how to focus our energy on the things that are most important. What are your values?. Where is your life currently out of balance? It often helps for clients to draw a life wheel which allows them to consider and rate how they are performing in a range of areas in their lives.

Step 2)   Learn how to effectively manage your time and prioritise. Ask yourself how you can best distribute your finite energy? This is key, not only in work life, but in our home life as well. Create a list of responsibilities and then sort them according to whether they are urgent/ important or both urgent and important or neither.

Step 3)   Learn to go slow and switch off. Rest, recovery and smelling the roses!! Elite athletes understand this principal. They oscillate between training and periods of rest and recovery. Think about it.  There is an implicit understanding that athletes cannot perform at their peak consistently, which is why there is always an off-season. So ask yourself, do you have an off-season?

When do you switch off and smell the roses? For most of you, it is rarely, as you maintain your many roles (i.e. wife, husband, mother, father, manager etc). You are expected to perform at your peak 100% of the time and criticised or performance managed when you do not. So the goal is to break this cycle and take some time to learn how to slow down. Make this a priority! Some examples include walking by the beach, reading a good book, sitting in a café, meditating or singing…  discover what works for you and do it every day.

Step 4)   Learn how to cultivate inner calm. It is often a surprise to clients that they actually have all the tools available to them to cultivate a sense of inner calm, peace and happiness. What brings you a sense of calm? Is it when you are swimming in the ocean? Or perhaps after a long run on the beach? If you are like me, then you may experience a sense of inner peace following meditation and yoga practice. The point is to take the time to find out what works for you and make it a habit. I am in the process of doing just this. I have recently embarked in a 40-day yoga challenge, which involves daily yoga and meditation practice. They say it takes 40 days to create a habit so wish me luck on the road to inner peace.

I thought it was fitting to consider one of my favourite quotes: “be the change that you want to see in the world”So ask yourself, what change do you want to see in the world? Then focus the question internally and consider how you can cultivate this change within yourself. We all have the power and ability to create positive changes within ourselves that will essentially impact others. Whilst this journey must start with us, it certainly will not end there. So break free of the frantic cycle of modern life. Become aware of the madness; take time to consider what is actually important and don’t forget to smell the roses.

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5 Tips For Creating Change In Your Life

Create change

By Eleasa Mullavey

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become”

As another year comes to a close, many of us start to reflect on the year that was…. Did I finally quit my dead end job in pursuit of a more meaningful vocation? Quit smoking? Change my diet for the better? Join and regularly attend the gym? Invest in a personal trainer or coach? We all seem to start the year with such clarity and good intentions, yet on reflection realise that life got in the way… AGAIN!!

Well if this sounds like you, don’t worry because change isn’t that easy. In fact humans are inherently resistant to change. To survive we have evolved with inbuilt mechanisms to maintain stability, keeping physical and mental systems in balance. I’m sure you all have experienced this at some point. Perhaps you’ve struggled to deal with organisational change, fighting to have things returned to “the old way”? Or when your relationship is coming to an end you decide to give it “one more chance” over and over again? We all do it! We feel secure within our comfort zone. The only problem with this is that despite our best efforts, everything keeps changing. This is the universal reality of our inner and outer experience.

Is resistance futile?

Obviously, we need a certain amount of resistance to maintain some level of stability and balance in our lives. However it is not always useful, in fact it can be quite detrimental, preventing us from noticing key signs that it is well and truly time for a scene change. So to use a metaphor to illustrate, they say that if a frog is dropped into a pot of boiling water, it’s reflexes kick in, it reacts and propels itself away from certain death.  When the same frog is dropped into a pot of lukewarm water, which is slowly on the boil, the little guy will just lay there happy and contented oblivious to the rising water temperature until he dies.

Ok ok, so not the most uplifting metaphor, but it certainly illustrates my point. How often have you found yourself slowly boiling, yet oblivious to the signs? Perhaps noticing that twinge of anxiety telling you things aren’t quite right before you start to rationalise all the reasons why everything is just fine. With change comes fear and self-doubt. It requires motivation and commitment. It’s much easier to avoid thoughts of change and rationalise why we don’t need it. Before we know it we have excuses for why our jean size keeps going up each year. We become accustomed to the protruding muffin top and lack of energy. It’s a normal part of getting older right? Until all of a sudden you don’t have enough energy to climb the stairs and the Doctor tells you that “you’re obese and headed for a heart attack”. How did that happen you ask?

As the old saying goes, CHANGE REALLY IS AS GOOD AS A HOLIDAY. It helps breaks old habits and limiting beliefs that no longer serve us. It allows us to stretch and grow, find new directions, take risks and achieve things we only ever dreamed of…. The challenge is to notice the signs early. Listen to your intuition, that inner voice that points you in the right direction. Quit that job! End that destructive relationship! Take control of your health! You have all the power to take control of your life and make positive changes…

5 Tips For Creating Change

1) Know where the goal posts are. Where is it that you want to be? What do you want to have achieved? Before asking these questions, be aware that negative thoughts will be rear their ugly head. So put them aside, they will only limit you. Then ask yourself, if I was to wake up tomorrow and the solution to my problem (i.e. being overweight; hating your job; unhappy in your relationship) is present, what would be different? What would I be thinking, doing and feeling?

2) Break down the main areas for change. For example, in question 1, if you decided that the goal posts are to feel fit, healthy and have energy to play with your kids, one of the main areas for change may be to make more healthy food choices.

3) Raise your anxiety levels in the direction of change. Think of change as a colonial set of measuring scales. One side of the scales represents no change. The other change. So our aim is to tip the scales in the direction of change and a key driver in this process is anxiety. By raising anxiety, I mean increasing that uncomfortable feeling about our current situation compared to where we want to be. Ask yourself, what are the disadvantages of remaining the same? What are the benefits of change? What will my life look like in 5 years if I keep everything the same?

4)   Remain motivated. It is completely normal to become stuck and lose drive when making changes. From experience, I find this usually results from a lack of confidence in being able to successfully make or sustain the change; or because the client has lost sense of the importance of the change. If you lack confidence, revisit your strengths and personal resources. When have you successfully changed something? Remember how you did it and apply the principles. Perhaps enlist the support of friends and family who have achieved similar changes or speak with a trained professional. If you feel that the change is no longer important, perhaps do some research into the area, or revisit step 3.

5)   Finally, you need to plan a relapse strategy. Relapse is to be expected. In fact we generally relapse over 7 times before sustaining any permanent change. Anyone who has given up smoking will vouch on this one. So when relapse occurs, rather than giving up, apply your relapse strategy.  Accept your relapse for what it is, reward yourself for how far you came and then propel yourself back into action. Perhaps re-visiting stages 3 and 4.

So it all sounds like hard work. Right?

Well that much is true. But I put it to you that change is well and truly worth the effort. As we design the life we want and then consciously start to take steps on the path, a sense of purpose, commitment and accomplishment soon follows. Even if our desired change does not turn out as planned, we can choose to learn from the experience and grow in wisdom. I often say to clients’ “the definition of madness is to keep doing everything the same yet expect a different outcome”.

So are you on the path to madness?

Just remember that every accomplishment starts with a decision to try.

What have you got to lose compared to what you stand to gain?

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Serious debt to serious wealth whilst still in his 20′s. Please welcome entrepreneur: Mr Jamie McIntyre.

Jamie_McIntyre

By Guy Lawrence

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hang out with self made millionaire and best-selling author Jamie McIntyre and his team at 21stCentury Academy. They were holding a four-day seminar in the neighborhood, so I decided I’d help out.

Jamie McIntyre has a pretty unique story. In his early twenties, he started a telecommunications company in Sydney. It didn’t work out quite like he envisioned and found himself in over $200,000 worth of debt, sleeping on a mates couch, with no company.

If you found yourself in this position, what would you do at this point? 

Jamie McIntyre decided to acquire mentors who were successful and living the life he could only dream of. What’s interesting is when one mentor hi-lighted to him that if he could set up a company and end up with over $200,000 in debt at his youthful age, he must be a unique individual, because how many people do you know have done that?

These mentors were able to reinforce the positives his situation produced. If he continued to focus on everything that went wrong and the circumstances that resulted, would that have served him and changed his situation over the long term?

When I’m in a difficult situation no matter the size I quite often find, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff and if things aren’t going my way, before I know it, I’m dragging my heals every where I go, and when I stop to think, I’m digging a hole staring at the floor!

What’s the solution?

Usually these days I turn to exercise to get the blood flowing and let off some steam. This strategy creates short term success and influences a positive mindset to tackle the situation with clear perspective and only look at the situation for what it is, no more or no less.

A few other methods I’ve tried are:

Get blind drunk, but of course this comes with a small repercussion the next day in the shape of a hangover. Not only are you dragging your heals the next day, you usually feel like your head’s about to disintegrate and you have about enough energy to change channels with the remote control.  This method is not one of my favourites, but defiantly a popular one with many.

There’s travel. Leave our worries behind so to speak. But with this technique I’ve found the environment changes, but not the thinking, so this never really helped. Even if you do unwind a little, it’s all still there for you when you get back – reality sets in. Traveling works best for me when its mission accomplished, and the mind is free for travel and to be in the moment.

And of course, there’s the ostrich head burying approach, but if you read my last post, you all know what happens there.

I asked Jamie McIntyre what he would say to anyone who was looking to enhance their life in any area -

These have been Jamie McItyres key points:

Be grateful

All the amount of complaining didn’t resolve Jamie’s problem. It got people feeling sorry for him, but that was it. His mentor got him to begin to focus on what he could be grateful for on a daily basis. He was made him write it down and every morning when he woke up, Jamie had to read it, so he would begin to change his daily thinking.

Jamie McIntyre said he found this really difficult at first because of his circumstances, but did it anyway and soon found his thinking began to change.

So begin to focus on what you can be grateful for in your life. It all begins from being in a place of appreciation, starting  with your self.

Contrast

To help bring gratitude into your life, get some contrast.  If you find your self complaining about your job, not earning enough money, or getting frustrated waiting in a queue etc it’s time to get some perspective. Go traveling and spend a month in a third world country, they’d do anything to be in your shoes right now.

Embrace failure – Don’t be fearful

 

Most people are fearful of failing. If we get stuck in the middle and don’t even try, we don’t lose anything, but rest assured we don’t gain anything either. Your best learning experiences are when you’re in amongst it all having a go. Ask yourself what’s truly the worst thing that could happen?

If Jamie McIntyre’s first company hadn’t failed and left him in over $200,000 of dept, he admits he probably wouldn’t be where he is today and 21st Century Academy would never have got off the ground. After that huge learning experience, he could have rolled over and accepted it wasn’t meant to be, however he chose to learn from it, re-adjusted his approach and kept going.

If you’re failing, you’re learning. So keep learning, keep re-adjusting until you get it right.

Choose your companionships wisely

 

If you do something that is perceived as different, people will either judge you or encourage you. Keep yourself around people who encourage. Life is a gift and your time is extremely valuable, so don’t waste it.  So spend less time if you can with anyone who holds you back from what you want to achieve in life. It’s all much more enjoyable when you’re around like minded people taking you forward.

So whether your in $200,000 worth of debt or 20kgs over weight, whatever your problems life is dealing you, Jamie McIntyre and his team at 21st Century Academy are great proof that there is something remarkable in us all if we want to turn things around 180 degrees.