Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Hey there, yes you! Are you an Alpha or a Beta? Well how about you just say you’re a fucking Charlie and be yourself without caging yourself into a societal frame that is not designed to set you free but instead is designed to imprison you into a shadow of your true self.

Yes, there is a certain pressure with being both male and female in today’s World, yet being a Man myself i feel that i can kick my feet back and have a little say on this subject. I was a weird kid, without doubt, growing up as a young boy i didn’t really fit into any particular stereotype of what it is to be a young man. I experimented, just like all kids do.

Some days i pulled out the race cars and drove them around my fold out street map that i’d place on the floor and other days i’d open my Mothers cupboard and have a laugh as i tried to wobble in her high heels…and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact i take back that “weird” kid jibe i just hit myself with.

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Growing up from a boy to a teenager to a man is one rollercoaster.

As i hit adulthood i was at the receiving end of intense bullying, both physical and mental that lasted for 7 years- it was relentless and for a number of factors. Whether it was my weight, my nose, my heritage or simply that i apparently had a slappable head- all i know is that turning from a “Boy” to a “Man” was going to be a long and difficult journey, as it is with many others.

Either way, eventually my confidence boosted, i joined the gym and lost 22kg and my lovable personality came out to shine, for years it had been hidden in some dark grim closet that was so comfortably sad, it had developed cobwebs and mould.

In this transformation from Teenager to Man i knew the battle wasn’t over because not only was i facing the trials of my own personal demons- i now had to put myself on show. I was exposed to the World and had to try and find my “place”. Where did i fit in the paradigm of being a Man in today’s world.?

First of all, don’t compare yourself to others for it is not a helpful route. Comparing yourself to others isn’t a motivational call to self improvement, in fact it is simply a road that will lead to being a false carbon copy of another being. In today’s World a Man is categorized in two main ways, either as the “Alpha”– who is a dominant and strong leader that has drive and success or the “Beta” who is a submissive and weak follower that is at best a pushover.

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The Mythological “Alpha”.

Society always throws “A Real Man” Memes at us but again, these memes are not inspirational, in fact they form part of the problem. There is no “real man” – indeed he is simply a mythological creature that belongs in fairy tale books. We are then confronted with confusing labels such as being referred to as “gentlemen” whilst we are also expected to be strong forces that are rough around the edges.

We are shunned for saying “Boys will be Boys” yet then also shunned if a boy acts like a girl. We see these grown Men nowadays who are so controlled by their label that they walk around with their thick necks, staunched shoulders and intimidating attitudes trying to play character. Almost like a Cos-play of a mythological figure, these Men are not in control of themselves, in fact they are daily on edge trying to be legitimate pretenders- society expects this of them, apparently so, and they fall for it hook, line and sinker.

Recently i was invited by a close friend to a “Mens Club” on Facebook and this page was truly disturbing. It was the epitome of what is wrong with society and how Men are falling trap to this system they can voluntarily pull out of but clearly are afraid to do so. In this group are thousands and thousands of Men from all around the World, who are venting to each other, disclosing personal issues, family dramas, relationship woes and true cries for help all in the midst of the security blanket of a “Male Ear” because they are afraid to express themselves in the real World, a World where Family, Friends, Women and Counselors exist.

All of these Men are afraid to express themselves to the Real World, so instead they create a club, a “safe haven” where they can use their God given right- their voices.
I didn’t find this empowering, that all of my Brothers around the World need secret clubs like this where they only want a fellow Man to hear their problems. It was blatantly obvious that these guys of all different races, ages and regions felt that if they were to speak out in the World how they are in this page, they’d be ostracized and suddenly downgraded to “Beta Males” for shedding tears and expressing true Human Emotions…It’s a train wreck. A calamity.

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I scrub off alright for being a “Charlie” Male 😉

True success is in being comfortable in your own skin and not being afraid to be a Human Being. True success is not giving a damn what people think and its utilizing all of your natural faculties- your logic, reason and yes, your emotions! It is funny that the same people that once told me to “Man Up” when i expressed myself to them are the same Men that are found on these Facebook Pages where men are hiding under a metaphorical blanket. Is it more cowardly to outwardly express yourself and your vulnerabilities as a man to the Entire World or to lurk in hidden groups and express yourself solely to other Men in secret? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Each day i am trying to “perfect” who i truly am and i have no shame in being a Man. A Man that is so raw and real that if i’m having a shit day, i will tell you, or if i feel like a shoulder to lean on i will go ahead and do it! Or if i need to shed some tears like i am watching “The Notebook” re-runs then i will rightfully do so, all without losing my claim as a Man because i don’t belong to a label, i am not a product for you to stick your labels on and i wish more Men could take that attitude on board and create their own empire, as opposed to ignorantly sitting in a shelf along with their fellow Man. It’s a comfortable place to be but it’s an exceptionally sad and boring place to be.

Salam.

-Ramey.E

 

 

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“Stop it. How would you like it if somebody did that to you?” – these were one of my first lines of empathy that i remember yelling out to a fellow student in my Music class when i was 12 years old as he started torturing a Moth that happened to fall on his lap by slowly plucking its wings and laughing in ecstasy.

His response?

“Shut the fuck up before i punch your head in.”

At that moment i realized something…Something monumental. I am BETTER than this person. Yes that is right, i confidently could say that at that place and time i could attest to the fact that i was indeed superior to this fellow Human Being by my side who felt no empathy, remorse or regret over the torture of an animal, yes a mere insect but it did not matter to me.

You see i used to see the World in quite a naive light- i believed that no body was above me and that i was above nobody. That somehow we are all seeing each other at the exact same level, eye to eye. This disturbing stance of mine led me to overlook the heinous behaviours of my fellow humans both in childhood and adulthood.

Besides, how could any of us reach for betterment if we are all “equal?” If there is only one throne- 7 billion rears cannot be seated on it at the same time and that is the ultimate reality in life, its the hierarchy of truth, sometimes one person is entitled to that throne- and that one day as a twelve year old kid i can confidently say i earned it.

 

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My views of the World have changed.

 

This might seem like a petty example but there are many more examples of how i was the “better man” in many situations that had occured to me. Like a few years later when a few “friends” of mine cornered a cat in the unit block hall and let it shriek, cower and scream in fear as they were throwing screwdrivers and other tools at it. The fact that i felt an intense sickness in my gut and a seething hatred to these supposed friends in that moment made me realize that i was the better man, too good for their company not only then but even now.

How about the other time a supposed “friend” from a popular group suddenly asked me to “burrow” him my PlayStation and in pure manipulation never spoke to me at high school after i gave it to him. When i finally confronted him months later about giving it back to me he physically threatened to beat me up. I shriveled up as he was a big and intimidating guy but i left with a lesson that day – to trust people less- and to realize despite this happening to me i would never do it to anybody else.

Then there was the work colleague with her wide smile and friendly demeanor who worked at a cafe i had been employed at for a year. I trained her vigorously and would drive her home every time we finished work at night . I thought i had formed a bond and friendship with Will – to only learn that she had been secretly telling my bosses the fabrication that she must “follow up” everything that i do and that i am not pulling my weight- eventually she got me fired and took my job. Even then i would never do that to somebody. I attest to the fact that i am superior in my morals and she was inferior in every way that she had to stoop to such a low to achieve a “success” in her life.

What about the bullies in my school that tormented me every single day for 7 years physically and mentally? Assaulting me in every manner possible, dropping my confidence and marks to all time low. Forcing me to avoid school for three months straight and making me lick a urinal in a dirty school toilet. Why? Because i was a kind natured guy? The truth of the matter is these bullies 25 years later are still the low life scum that they were when they were kids because they were and are inherently , psychologically, mentally and spiritually void beings.

Let me tell you something, success comes from a drive that thrives within you. You don’t use other people to step on to climb to the top, you use other people as motivation on how you can better yourself and all this can be done without putting others down. This false peak of success is short lived and far from satisfying and i am proud to say that everything i achieved in my life was with clean hands.

Never did i drop to such levels in order to get somewhere in life. Each and every single achievement of mine was done with my own drive, work and integrity. Lets be honest, there are shit people in this World. People who are not on your level, people who are sub- par and limited. Do not let these people define the model of which you decide to pave your life, they are mere distractions from the fact that you are wonderful, amazing, beautiful and successful whereas they are the bottom dwellers of our societal framework.

No. We are not equal. I am better and perhaps, so are you? 🙂

PEACE, SALAM.

You see and hear it all the time, inspirational quotes and memes floating all over the internet inspiring you to “be yourself” yet what exactly does it mean to be yourself and do people really accept you for being you?

There is an internal and external struggle that occurs when one person truly attempts the endeavor to be themselves. The internal struggle comes from self acceptance and seeking your inner genuine thoughts. Do you have your thoughts and beliefs? Do you stand by them? These are important questions.

If you fear your own inner thoughts then we have a problem. Sure we do not have to broadcast everything about ourselves yet when it comes to persistence in character and being able to remain consistent in who you are and what you stand for- there should be no shame nor fear in holding on to what you believe in.

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The inner fight is actually being who you are meant to be, not shaped by society or the expectations of others but that internal acknowledgement between your mind and body that speaks to you in a language you understand. When you are doing and saying things counter to your inner self then there is a war waging inside of you.

For example, i am a Muslim and there is a huge stigma that comes with that package nowadays. Often i will be “ashamed” to express that fact and i will attempt to keep my beliefs and thoughts hidden lest i be judged. So then i try to “fit in” with everybody else and that yet again is when the struggle becomes real- you cannot appease everybody else whilst abandoning your true self.

This fight can be said about any human being under any certain context, when they are trying to express themselves but suppress it in order to make others happy- its an unhealthy move that will not pave the way for any fruition.

Now this is only part of the hurdle, the inner struggle to “be yourself” is difficult enough, then comes to external element- how receptive would people be to you truly being yourself? Well the few moments i have been brave enough to tell people who i am and what i am about the searing judgement was at an intense level- the questioning, mockery, suspicion and skepticism was coming.

It was then that i realized- you don’t want me to “be myself” – you want me to be somebody else.! Acceptance is a difficult thing, nobody likes the feeling of being rejected or being the black sheep so often people will alter and adjust themselves to fit comfortably into society.

Why? What is the benefit for you besides living in a mirage? A mirage of false security where you live in a World that wants you to be just like them. ? A democracy where you either “fit in” or become ostracized.

It’s a baffling conundrum but its something i wish to fix on all levels. I am as genuine as i can be but i do things to please others and neglect myself. Many people are truly afraid to be who they REALLY are– no matter who you are out there- find that outlet that genuinely will accept you and take you in for your entire being.

It will be a hard journey where you can be at peace with yourself and everybody else around you but at the end of the day you can live your life as a pretender to make everybody else sleep well at night or you can live your life being true to yourself and allow yourself to sleep well at night. Which would you rather? One sounds much healthier. 🙂

Peace, Salam.

-R

 

 

 

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A candid and honest look on perhaps why i am still not married. 🙂

So, i sit here, a man in his early 30’s who is begging the question…”Why am i not married yet?“. You see, growing up i always used to have these comical benchmarks on when exactly i would be getting married. When i was 18 i said i’d be married by 25. When i turned 25 i said i’d be married by 27. When i turned 27 i said i will definitely be married by 30. Then i turned 30 and pushed up my age of marriage to 33 (which mind you is around the corner!).

Being raised in a household with strong ethnic ties and having a Eastern European and Middle Eastern background i very often saw my family members and friends getting hitched in their early 20’s and as i grew older it really dawned on me how that was a truly unattractive prospect for me.

I suppose in the meantime i have been enjoying my life so much that it has been difficult for me to stop for a moment and analyze exactly where i am standing on this marathon called life. I come to realize that i absolutely want to get married and i absolutely want children, i am definitely not one of those “I’m too selfish to have children” sorts.

In fact the attraction for me is the fact that i am the total opposite to that, i am selfless and i put others before me, yet i cannot actually wait to have that child in my arms, that person that i am more than happy to put before myself, i am sure most parents can resonate with that.

Have i not found the right woman yet? Well, clearly not – because i am not married. Yet at the same time i do think about the cliche “It’s not you, it’s me” theology that runs through my mind. I ask myself am i prepared for marriage? Financially, yes. Emotionally, Yes. Mentally? Probably not. 

I do think the scars of a rough upbringing of many many years of intense physical and mental bullying, low self esteem and zero confidence really cut deep into my system. Despite me dropping plenty of weight in my early 20’s and regaining some of that charm and confidence that i hadn’t seen since i was in primary school- i still feel that even today, despite my outwardly popular and confident appearance, that i still have the remnants of low self confidence, self esteem and a battered value.

This in essence then makes it very difficult for me in relationships because my dream woman could be and probably is literally standing under my nose but i likely wouldn’t even realize it- because if my inward vibes synchronized with my outside vibes i would instantly recognize these women and i would snatch up any given opportunity- but i don’t.

Even though i do not appreciate the societal pressures of people being cornered into marriage and children, i do think its not for everyone. Yet it definitely is for me, if there’s anything i am certain about its the fact that i am very self aware- i strongly believe that i’d make a wonderful husband and an absolute kick-ass father, so i do not want to waste my life without sharing these qualities and attributes that i know i have, especially with people of which i know would earn and appreciate it.

In saying all of this, please remember i am not having a dig at those who choose not to get married or have children. As i said, i do not think its for everybody and people need to come to terms with exactly how they feel about these two major responsibilities. For me, i am up for the challenge, in fact i don’t consider it a challenge, i see it as a step in my life and it’s a step i am happy and willing to take.

Yet in the meanwhile i still have a lot of work to do on myself. I feel that i am still constructing myself into this mansion that i want to be, and i cannot let anybody else move in, whether wife or child, until i am happy with my home, until i am happy with me. The fact is, we cannot pretend that we can provide happiness for others when we are not entirely happy ourselves.

I am definitely not sad or depressed – yet i am a bit of a perfectionist. I want the timing to be right, i want to be mentally prepared and charged for the moment. I don’t just want to “wing” a relationship, i don’t just want to test the waters for years before i decide to put a ring on it. If i am at complete peace and harmony with myself and you happen to walk on by then good heavens i’d say watch out, but who wouldn’t want to be swept under their feet? 😉

Peace, Salam
-Ramey

Sure sure, this “buzz word” has been out and about years and just while you were hoping it would have died down and fizzled by now, i have applied CPR to it and this zombie is back from the grave and  is here to stay. Yes the word is BROMANCE. 

According to dictionary.com – Bromance is: 
a relationship or friendship between two men that is extremely close but does not involve sex.

You are probably thinking this defines the huge majority of your friends but think again. This “extreme” closeness is super extreme. Like Al Qaeda on steroids. Just think Donald Trump and North Korea extreme. Now that you’ve narrowed down these mates to single digits it’s time to appreciate them and truly recognize that you are in a Bromantic relationship. The Phenomena is nothing new, even the Bible is PRO BRO! 

 

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Bromance is not a new idea . King David & Jonathan were Super Bros in the Bible.


I have always been first to admit i love my bro’s and i am not ashamed to admit it. These Bro’s of mine are people that accept me for me, and i for them. We reserve judgement. Offer polite criticism and stellar advice. Our support is like the frame works of a building. When you smile, we smile- when you cry, we cry. Yes, the weight of being a bro does not come easy, it is a role with huge responsibility.

There is no time for them fake Press On Nail type mates. Your Bro is the real deal! Now before all my fellow Muslims shout “Haram” and assume this post is treading on “dangerous territory”- think about what our own Prophet did in the below situation.

A man was with the Prophet when another man passed by and he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I love this man.” The Prophet said to him: “Have you told him?” He said: “No.” He said: “Tell him.” So he caught up with him and said: “I love you for the sake of Allah“. He said: “May the one for Whose sake you love me- also love you.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (no. 5125)

Woah, dude. SO MUCH LOVE. Am i right? Or am i right? You see i appreciate my Bro’s because they have been there through thick and thin. We can talk about anything and have no fear about preconceived notions or post conversational judgement. We are cool.! Now as much as i love my womenfolk i do feel a little bit more reserved to wear my heart on my sleeve, i tend to take it slowly and cautiously.

 

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Below are 5 steps to become a BRO!

If you want to become someones Bro it’s actually not rocket science. Here are the tips.

Tip #1) Be generous.

A true Bro is willing to extend his hand generously to his friend.

Tip #2) Be supportive.

There is no better feeling than knowing your Bro has “got your back”

Tip #3) Be involved.

Get yourself involved in your Bros life. Play sports with them. Stay updated on their life events.

Tip #4) Be open.

Your Bro might be in a 9-1-1 dilemma and need you. Always let them know you’re a phone call or a door knock away.

Tip #5) Be real.

There is nothing to hide from your Bro. Whether good or bad you know you can say anything you want to each other.

So what are you waiting for? BE A BRO TODAY! Now when i say Bro i don’t mean i am Batman and you are Robin. No! That is not how a Bromance works! I am Batman and you are Batman and together we make Bratman! Just picture when you are looking in the mirror your Bro looking right back at you, giving you the Bro-fist of approval! If a girl were to find you both attractive you wouldn’t compete and leave your Bro in the dirt. You’d pretend you were Siamese twins and tell her it’s all or nothing!

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“We’re actually Siamese twins. If you like one you’ll have to like us both! 😉 “


Do you get it now!!?

Peace, Ramey.

I have traveled extensively over the last 5 years, mainly due to the fortune of working in the industry that takes us to said destinations. Sure when you scale out and look at the Entire Earth as a hole i have still only seen a little fragment of it, yet that is the excitement of travelling, it’s not only so much where you have been, it is also where you are going!

I have conducted a “Top 5” list of places i have been based on specific “Subjects”. Please note this list is strictly only highlighting places i have seen with my own two eyes and also note each photo on this article was taken by me during these travels between 2010-2015. If you ever get the chance to visit these places i can confidently say it will enrich your life. So let us begin, shall we?


TOP 5 COASTAL SCENES:

Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia

Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia

5) Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia

The Island state of Tasmania will feature many times on my list and it is no surprise it has an abundant range of beautiful beaches. I visited Bicheno during a overcast day and even then it blew me away. The Sand was bright and white, the rocks were a deep shade of orange and even with that cloud cover the water shimmered in a Turqoise mix.

Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii, USA.

Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii, USA.

4) Oahu East Coast, Hawaii, United States

Hawaii is home to many wonderful scenes, yet one of the most memorable to me was the Eastern and Southern Coastline of the most popular Island of Oahu. The steep mountain backdrop complete with its lush scenery and the array of colours along this dramatic coast really left a lingering memory in my mind.

Muscat, Oman

Muscat, Oman

3) Muscat, Oman.

Oman, a 45 minute flight from the glamour of Dubai is a nation that is riddled with amazing people, culture, history, deserts and who would have thought? Coast! The coast around the city of Muscat is decorated with many impressive Portuge Forts that loom over the waterways and the mountains resemble something from another planet, surely a unique experience!

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand


2) Queenstown, New Zealand

The city of Queenstown boasts some of the Worlds most amazing waterways. Despite the unappealing element of the freezing cold and its empowering snow capped mountains the water scenery in New Zealand is absolutely captivating with Queenstown being no exception. The Greens, blues and yellows blend in one perfect harmony!

Wayalailai Island, Fiji

Wayalailai Island, Fiji

1) Wayalailai Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Despite my Fiji trip being one of my oldest (taken in 2010) i have to say the Yasawa Islands are without a doubt one of the most wonderful sights your eyes will ever be blessed to see. It is like something out of a postcard. Coconut Palms litter the sands as hammocks sway in the breeze and the Isolation of the beaches and reefs draw you right in!


TOP 5 MOUNTAIN SCENES:

Barren Falls, Queensland, Australia

Barren Falls, Queensland, Australia

5) Tropical Far North Queensland, Australia

Australia might not be world renown for its Mountains but it surely has some gems. Far up North in the Tropics of Queensland there are some lush rainforests found in the midst of some steep mountains and cliffs. One of the more impressive sections would be Barren Falls, which is especially neat in the wet season. The cliffs and many pools really give a dramatic take to the calm and pristine surrounds.

Wadi Shab, Oman

Wadi Shab, Oman

4) Wadi Shab, Oman

“Wadi” in Arabic means Valley and there are some stunning Valleys in Oman, usually carved by some remarkable pools and waterways. Wadi Shab has a perfect movie set backdrop, sheer drops from its bright red cliffs are met by the dusty green of their Palm Trees. Truly, this feels like a Jurassic experience!

The Peak, Hong Kong

The Peak, Hong Kong

3) The Peak, Hong Kong

This might be an odd choice for some yet taking the Cable Train up the steep hills overlooking Hong Kong is a satisfying experience, especially if the pollution is low. From the vantage point of the Peak you can see far out into many sights of Hong Kong and in all directions are other various mountains overpowering the skyscrapers in height!

The Remarkables, New Zealand

The Remarkables, New Zealand

2) The “Remarkables”, New Zealand

The Remarkables are a Mountain Peak near Queenstown in New Zealand. These Mountains are so overpowering and really make you feel small. They sure do humble you up as they dominate the landscape around them. Especially beautiful when they are often snowcapped, this is hands down one of the best Mountainsides you could ask for!

Ben Lomond, Tasmania, Australia

Ben Lomond, Tasmania, Australia

1) Ben Lomond, Tasmania, Australia

What is that? An Australian mountain range takes the cake for best Mountain Scenery? Well yes, Ben Lomond to be precise! I will never forget chasing the signs to this Mountain Range during sunset, hugging the narrow road as it winds its way in elevation. Until you find yourself facing a landscape that looks nothing short of Mars. It was absolutely amazing and the fact that not a single soul was there made it extra special. The roads that winds its way up to the top is daunting and exhilarating at the same time!


TOP 5 CULTURAL EXPERIENCES

Tanah Lot. Bali, Indonesia

Tanah Lot. Bali, Indonesia

5) Bali, Indonesia

Yes, it might not have the best reputation. This country well known for its corruption has both dark and beautiful sides to it. When venturing away from the party towns Bali in Indonesia has many wonderful sights and sounds to offer. Whether its Lambongan Island or Tanah Lot temple this place has a deep cultural significance and sticks to the mind.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

4) Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The city that is built in the desert is a place of great contrasts. One moment you could be shopping at one of the most prestigious shopping centres and the next riding a camel under the starry night. Although Dubai is obviously “Artificial” it is captivating in its own right. Constantly breaking its own records Dubai is a place to tick off the list, besides Fast and the Furious 7 may have added to the “culture” of this tourist Mecca.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

3) Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a city that is absolutely surrounded by amazing Heritage Listed sights dating back for many centuries. Upon arriving at Istanbul you are instantly overwhelmed by the Cultural mixture of East and West, mingling around one dense city that is full of cultural significance. The food is unique and also delicious. One cannot help but feel immersed in the culture whilst in Turkey.

Trsat, Rijeka, Croatia

Trsat, Rijeka, Croatia

2) Adriatic Sea, Croatia

I think one of the most charming, romantic and stunning coastlines in the world would have to be in Croatia. Not only due to the obviously gorgeous beaches but due to the rich history that is preserved in beautiful towns settling beneath mountainous backdrops. Croatia has thousands of islands to choose from and seafood to your hearts content! Who could say no!?

Kakadu National Park, Australia

Kakadu National Park, Australia

1) Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Cultural heritage is more about buildings, sometimes it is about the land. Kakadu National Park in Australia is a huge place, roughly the size of Slovenia. This National Park is an important cultural landmark in of itself with many sacred and holy sites to the local Indigenous population. Hiring a Helicopter over this tranquil scenery was one of the greatest memories of my life. From waterfalls to rock-faces to Crocodile infested waterways this place had it all, the nature was outstanding!

Ladies and gentlemen this is just a little sneak peak of some of the amazing sights and sounds i have encountered over the last few years. The World is an amazing place so go out and see it! I hope i have inspired you to want to travel and enjoy this special place we call Earth that little bit more! 🙂

PEACE!

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I really caught your attention with that dramatic title didn’t i? We live in days of privilege, let’s face it. Our lives are so over-consumed by work that we have companies that “home deliver” to your door because you just don’t have that time to cook up a healthy and fresh meal at home. It’s a sad indication of the direction society is going and as food becomes more “accessible” in that drive-through kind of way, we are seeing a huge increase in canned, bottled and packaged foods.

Not only is it important what exactly is in your food, yet as in the recent case here in Australia it is very important where your food comes from. Weeks ago supermarkets in Australia were forced to recall “Nannas” Mixed Frozen berries and “Creative Gourmet” Mixed frozen berries- imported from China and Chile for carrying Hepatitis A with at least 25 cases nationwide of people contracting Hepatitis A due to consuming the frozen berries.

A recent case in Australia from Imported Frozen Berries led to over 20 cases of Hepatitis A

A recent case in Australia from Imported Frozen Berries led to over 20 cases of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is spread from Fecal matter and is due to unhygienic practices. So first thing is first, when you are checking the back of your packaged food, look at where it is from and conduct some research on the companies and their location. Sadly our governments care more about the dollar than providing its population with safe, clean and consumable food- most of which is sadly exported for others whilst we are left with questionable products from questionable food authorities in foreign lands who hold little scrutiny to their food export practices. Also be aware of the famous “Made in Australia from local and IMPORTED ingredients”. This does NOT mean the product is Australian made. It simply means some Australian produce is mixed with imported produce.

I will state the obvious, fresh is best. Yet we all know that it is not possible to always be carrying around organic carrots and MSG free crackers. Below i will give you a guide as to some things to look out for when purchasing and consuming your food. Companies are being extra sneaky now by using “layman language” and implementing a number system as to confuse customers. Always remember the numbers on the back of the packet mean something and most times they do not mean something good. Here are my list of things to AVOID whilst at the supermarket.

1) SULPHITE PRESERVATIVES

I put Sulphite Preservatives as number one for a very personal reason. One night i was feeling like something sour, i noticed a jar of “pickled peppers” in the cupboard. It was still unopened and they looked inviting enough. I opened it, took out a couple chilli’s and started chewing with the “juices” still dripping from outside and within them. What happened almost immediately after came at a shock. It suddenly triggered a dangerous and INSTANT asthma attack, it caught me so unaware- my blood boiled to my head and i dropped the jar in a panic. My heart rate instantly peaked as i was in clear shock and my breathing was so restricted i thought i was going to collapse. I then thankfully managed to quickly get on my Asthma Nebuliser machine. I will not lie but this product almost literally killed me. Sulphite Preservatives are very dangerous to Asthmatics, especially to children or the elderly.

The big picture is that Sulphites will only have a negative effect on roughly 10% of the population, yet that negative effect could cause an (unlikely) Anaphylactic shock and prove deadly.

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Cheap Wines, Dried Fruits, Bottled Lemon/Lime Juice, Pickled Onions & Peppers.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
222,223 and 228.

Pickled Foods have high levels of

Pickled Foods have high levels of Sulphite Preservatives. Dangerous to Asthmatics.

2) MSG or Mono-Sodium Glutamate

MSG is a very common food additive used for flavouring purposes. This is especially common in Asian delicacies but is also found in common every day products like flavoured Potato chips and Instant Soups/Noodles. High levels of MSG can have a negative effect on the body, both short term and long term. Continual, long term use of MSG could increase the potential for cancer growth and the immediate effects include headaches, nausea and lethargy.

Lately there have been campaigners calling MSG “safe” yet from personal experience when i eat MSG rich foods i notice immediate unpleasant effects on my body like thick buildup around my throat, making me feel “restricted”.

Beware of misleading labels that say “No Added MSG” because this is linguistic gymnastics. Instead look for products that promote that they are “MSG FREE”.

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Dressings, Gravy, Flavoured Chips, Instant Noodles/Soups and (some) Soy Sauce.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
621, 627 and 635.

No, this is not Cocaine. It is MSG.

No, this is not Cocaine. It is MSG.

3) Aspartame

The common sight of seeing others purchase “diet” or “zero” products and thinking they are making a wise choice is very unsettling. Many sweet products that claim to be “sugar free” or have “no sugar” use Aspartame as a replacement. This highly addictive sweetener is common in our soft drinks and sodas, very popular with the younger generation. These sweeteners are chemically induced and provide absolutely no health benefits and in fact are known to cause short term and long term health defects.

Short term effects include dizziness and migraines, yet most serious is the potential for tumors and cancer. Horrifyingly enough, Aspartame was not even tested on humans prior to its approval of use in 1981. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar and is as addictive as its “evil” counterpart. Aspartame triggers the release of insulin which supports the storage of body fat.

Your best alternative is a LOW sugar diet as opposed to a no sugar diet that is replaced with a chemical agent 200 times sweeter and just as addictive as sugar.

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Diet Drinks/Sodas, Yoghurts, Sweeteners, “Sugar Free” Cakes,Biscuits/Lollies, Flavoured Water and Cereals.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
950 and 951.

Your "diet" and "sugar free" options are NOT smart.

Your “diet” and “sugar free” options are NOT smart.

4) Food Colouring

This is an incredibly pointless “ingredient” found in many foods. Food colouring is all about aesthetics, it simply makes the food look more appealing. It has no health benefits whatsoever and each colour you find has a different negative effect on the body. For example Blue can cause cancer, whilst Red increased episodes of ADHD. Lately some colours have been banned from the Food Colouring palette, yet the fact is even what remains is of no good use to us.

The scary thing is colouring is used in other products too like cheap shampoos and soaps. Whilst the origins of some colouring agents (like Yellow 5) come from Coal Tar. Yet when it comes to food the rule is just like that of the animal kingdom. If you spot an animal that is incredibly “colourful” or unnaturally striking in their colour then they are likely (but not always) dangerous! The same goes for food colouring, keep away from any foods that look like they are radio-active green or neon pink. 

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Concentrated Fruit Juice, Candy, (some) Cheese, Biscuits, Icing.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
Blue dye number 1 and 2, Red dye number 3,  Green dye number 3, Yellow dye number 6- Infact avoid ALL colours!

Food Colouring looks pretty but tastes dangerous!

Food Colouring looks pretty but tastes     dangerous!

5) BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)

BHA is found in many foods and its main purpose is to maintain the “stability” of the food item and slow down its break down process. Basically BHA is used to mummify food and preserve them for long periods of time. You might like to know that BHA is very popular with pet food products. It’s nice to know that your processed Banana Bread holds the same ingredient as your dogs CHUM “beef” canned meal.

Many Governing food bodies claim that BHA is safe because it only produces cancers in Mice and Rats on their “forestomachs” and they claim that it is an organ Human Beings do not have. That is some risque assumption there but why take the risk when there is a natural alternative called VITAMIN E.? 

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Butter, Cereal, Instant “Meals”, Preserved Meat, Baked Goods and Chewing Gum.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
320

BHT, also found in your dogs food. You might want to avoid that.

BHT, also found in your dogs food. You might want to avoid that.

Above were my “Top 5 Food Additives” to avoid. Give it a go, take a look at your cupboard and you will be shocked at the overwhelming majority of items that carry one or MOST of these potentially dangerous items. Write those numbers down and “smart shop” at the supermarket and make the right choices in preserving your health and well being.

Peace, Salam.

Ramey