Tag Archives: happiness

Can Meditation be a Bad Thing?

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We all read and hear about the many mental, physical and other benefits of meditation. Though this last few days I have been considering if meditation can become a bad thing.

I started meditating properly 8 weeks ago and I haven’t missed a day since then. I have done 20 minutes in the morning and then started 60 minutes later on through the day. I did miss a few of the 60 minute sessions while on holiday. I decided to swap them out, so I would do a 60 minute meditation first thing in the morning to make this easier to get into habit. It would then be absolutely easy peasy to throw in the extra 20 minute meditation session later in the day, even if I have become tired.

So in 8 weeks of building up the times I meditate, I have now done about 2 days worth of meditation in total. This last few days I have considered doing another 60 minute session in the middle of the day or to even extend my morning session to a 2 hour session.

I have stopped myself from doing this at the moment. That doesn’t mean I wont do this in the longer run. Though this behaviour is so typical of me. I am either all or nothing. 8 weeks in to be doing 2 hours and 20 minutes a day is a little over the top.

I realised the reason I want to do it for longer is to help my days go faster. Especially when I have a day in which I’m battling with my emotions and feelings. I have been thinking over and over “just throw in a meditation session and forget about it all”. Though I fear that this is escapism and may produce more problems than I already had. I fear it will produce a state of mind where the things I would normally enjoy outside of meditation will become duller and I will not want to do them. I worry that all I will want to do is meditate.

Meditation was taken on for two reasons, 1 was to make me a better runner, and the other was to help me gain balance and help with my bipolar moments in life. I’m on a quest at the moment to heal myself of my mental health problems. Many have deemed this to be dangerous and to take great caution. Though this is the choice I have made. I can not wait 4 months between psychiatry appointments expecting them to fix all my problems. I can’t sit around waiting in the meantime and allow my mental health to dictate my emotions, feelings and actions. So I have had to take action myself right here right now.

I’m going to keep watching these desires to meditate more often, and see if they continue when I feel more balanced in general.

PS on the other hand I may just be having mid week, post race blues from the weekends 8.5 mile fun run 😉

Peace and love
-ScottyRunner

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Great Midland Fun Run 8.5 Miles

I did the Great Midlands Fun Run today in Sutton Coldfield, West Midland. This is by far the busiest run I have done so far. I normally sign up to smaller events with a smaller field size. I thought I’d write a blog about my experience so I can refer to it in future.

The race was at 11am. I had to be there earlier and this was a bit tricky as it was a Sunday. I couldn’t get trains there from my house to be on time. I had to take a bus to Birmingham and then get a train from Birmingham New St to Sutton Coldfield. All in all about an hour and a half travel time.

The weather was not so bad. Yes it was raining but it was only drizzly rain. I bumped into some friends at the train station and we headed over to The Parade street where the race would start and finish. We found somewhere to put up a Dr Hadwen Trust Banner facing right on to The Cancer Research Charity Shop.

I then popped off to the loo and changed into my shorts and took off my jackets. When I returned the supports in our group not running, where nice enough to look after my bag for me so I didn’t need to run with it.

I believe there’s about 6,000 people at this event. I’m used to about 500 max. I had no idea where to stand in the line. It was somewhere about 3 quarters of the way to the back. There was a little noise and then by 11:15 people at the front began running.

I never realised how long it would take to pick up the pace. At the start my first lap pace was almost 11 and a half minutes per mile. The second mile wasn’t much better, but then it broke up a bit a and I was able to speed up a bit. I kept a pace I was comfortable with and knew I could handle for many more miles. I knew I would keep myself to roughly this same exertion level until after the half way mark.

About half way I started to pick it up a bit from 8:43 minute miles to 7:55 minute miles. I only had half the distance left to go and it was time. There was a bit of slowing down on a few hills but nothing too major.

At about mile 6 we had to run up, what is locally know as, Cardiac Hill. I slowed down and reduced my stride… I was constantly waiting around each bend, anticipating a steep big hill. Then the path levelled off and I had just ran Cardiac Hill. I’m not being all snooty in saying this… the fellow other Vegans at the end agreed that it didn’t warrant it’s intimidating name.

The rest from here was awesome because it was all mainly just weaving about in and out downhill. I got my pace up nicely and tried to leg it in for the last of the race. Eventually I saw purple and black balloons arched over the road and I kicked it to them thinking it was the finish… then I saw the finish further on. I pulled it together a little longer and got myself over the finish line. The time on my Garmin was 1:13:10 Hr:min:s with an average pace of 8:33 minutes per mile.
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When I do a busy run like this again in future I will start much closer to the start line. Perhaps about quarter of the way in or perhaps just a tiny bit further out. Throughout this race I felt like I was just constantly passing people all the time and not many passing me. I was kinda happy with this because I was wearing my Vegan Runners t shirt and a Dr Hadwen Trust Sticker on the back. I especially made a point to jiggle my behind in front of cancer research runners or the British heartless foundation runners as I swiftly passed them 😉

On the other hand, because I had to pass people so much I believe it pulled me back a bit and that first 11:30 minute mile was hard to recuperate later on, as the miles left became less and less.

We did some group pictures later holding banners for Dr Hadwen Trust and Birmingham Animal Action spreading our support. These were of course done in front of the Cancer Research and British Heartless Foundation Charity Shops.

After this I was kindly given a ride home by a fellow Vegan Runner and we stopped off at Cannon Hill Park for some Vegan Grindhouse Street Food Burgers 😀
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So next is Birmingham and Black Country Half Marathon and then the JW Ultra 30 miler. There may also be Shirley 10k in August too depending on how I feel nearer the time.

Cheers for reading.
-ScottyRunner


Sending a Message of Apology.

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Someone close to me has removed me from Facebook now. It’s not from my post the other day about leaving groups. It’s because I pushed them too far with my constant questions around diet and nutrition. This person I felt very highly about and I still do and it’s really sad to see the friendship has come to an end.

I have been on a journey for some time. Sometimes I may come across as being a bit selfish. I don’t mean to be. I don’t know if it’s because of the abuse I endured as a child or what. I spend each day trying to better myself and to fix all the wrongs my parents taught me. I have been exploring myself, developing myself and been trying to grow into being the kind of person I want to be and others would like me to be.

Someone who is loving, caring, compassionate, generous, giving. Someone who is generally happy, joyful and peaceful. Someone who can pass on the positive energies of these qualities to others.

This post is my apology to the people involved. I can not contact them now but I can send out a message telepathically. Getting it written down also helps me put it into perspective. I also apologise to anyone else who may believe I am rather selfish. I do not mean to be and I am trying to be better.

I’ve 3 books on spiritual transformation to read while I’m on holiday. One a week… I was going to start them before I left but wanted to hold them for the holiday. I’m sure they will help even just a few % in personal development. 🙂 Cus of course also me being a better person gives you a better friend… and we both deserve that. Thanks for your patience 😉

To my dear friend who I have lost I wish him all the happiness in the world. For this life and all the many lives ahead of him.

All I truly want is to love myself and be happy and to be able to pass that on to others.
-ScottyRunner

On and up.


Meditation and Shrinking “The Cloud”.

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I have been meditating for about 4 months now, though I have only recently taken to guided meditation through HeadSpace. This can be found as an app or online.

During my earlier sessions I was told to imagine the sky, and see the clouds clearing if it was overcast. I could then either imagine a bright clear blue sky or see a small white bubbly cloud.

I have been thinking about this over the last few days and instead of the clear blue sky during meditation today I decided to accept that there are some negative things in the world. The thing is though we have the choice whether we wish to feed that cloud and make it larger or if we want to keep the skies almost clear.

So today during my meditation I decided the small cloud will stay there. Inside of that cloud is where I put all those little demons that I have already dealt with or don’t want to deal with right now.

So one day I may be walking down the street, I’m whistling and smiling and just generally darn right happy as usual! Then someone or something steps into my space and tries to pull that energy down. I begin to notice my emotions slightly change and this small cloud is directly over my head, it roars and strikes and then starts to rain.

Then within just a few seconds I look up, I laugh. That cloud is so small. I take 2 steps forward in the direction of sunlight and all of a sudden all my problems have once again gone away.

I thought if the sky was completely clear then if a storm did brew up all of a sudden I wouldn’t have made a connection with the small cloud to easily be able to step away from it. The danger then would be the feeling of being pulled under a storm that you can’t get out of.

and all it took was just the simple choice to take a few steps forward and choose to step out from under the cloud.


Vegan Runner Visiting London – Excellent Time!

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I used to live in Soho – London back in my later teens. I was a real party goer then. I never exercised and never gave a second thought to Veganism, and I never thought about organic or ethical purchasing.

This was my first time travelling back to London as a Vegan and I must say that I was extremely surprised!

I was down in London visiting with an old friend who I had began to miss dearly and hadn’t seen him in a few years. I was so happy to find he was extremely excited to experience a bit of London Vegan style.

When I arrived into London Euston I was really hungry and we went into Planet Organic on Essex Road. My first reaction was how bustling it was there were loads of people in there all with baskets buying their delicious healthy and ethical goods. It was so awesome to see! I bought some items to make a nice big chunky salad when we got back to his and some milk. He was extremely keen to try almond and soya milk and so he decided he’d buy, almond milk, almond vanilla, soya milk, cashew milk and brown rice milk.

When we got to his place he made us a coffee each with the milk, and he was extremely impressed with it’s ability to make a nice roasted coffee really deep and nutty in taste… needless to say I know he will be buying a lot more of this stuff in future.

After relaxing a while we went to Angel Vue cinema to watch The Divergent Series – Insurgent. After this we went on to The Gate Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant. Our booking was for 9pm and we arrived five minutes early and shown right to our seats. The Gate was vibrant and lively with lots of smiling going on and friendly faces. My friend said how loud it was with lots of happy people enjoying themselves. This added to the great atmosphere.

We started with drinks, and a basket of bread with oil and vinegar and a bowl of olives. As usual you can’t go wrong with the bread in oil and vinegar. Mmmmmm yummy yum yum! The olives were nice too. The green ones were a little hard for my normal liking but the brown olives were very succulent. I asked my friend many many questions, getting him to update me on all I have missed in his life and how everything was going for him while occasionally nibbling away at our bread and trying to poke the slippery olives with the toothpicks. (you know how it goes!).

For starters I had Grilled Chipotle King ‘Prawn’ Served on a red quinoa salad, avocado, tomatillo and green chilli salsa finished with lime and kale crisps. This was really tasty and I’d highly recommend it to others. The ‘prawn’s flavorful, tender, juicy and chewy! My friend got Potato chat – New potatoes with crispy spinach, mint and tamarind chutney. His face lit up when he tried this. In fact he liked it that much that when I offered him to try some of mine he said “no thanks I don’t want to spoil how much I’m enjoying this one in case yours ins’t as nice!”.

Once again we nattered a while before our mains arrived. We both decided on the same thing for mains and ordered the Thai red curry. Aubergine, fried tofu, baby corn, mange tout and mushrooms in thai spiced creamy coconut sauce served with aromatic wild jasmine rice and pineapple and chili salsa. My friend liked the tofu but wasn’t massive on it but said, and I agree, what made that dish so delicious was the shitake mushrooms in the sauce. I agreed with him 100% those mushrooms were DELICIOSO! If yu are unsure about this choice my friend stays in Thailand a lot through the year and gets a lot of Thai curries so it must have been pretty good. 

The staff the entire time were very courteous. They weren’t pushy and allowed you time to relax, talk and order when you wanted. I hate it when you feel your being pushed out the door. Eating out is one of my favorite past times and I love deep convo over dinner and a few drinks there after. You can’t do that in clubs! and seemed to know exactly what they were doing. This restaurant has been going for 25 years now and we were interested in the building itself. An interesting piece of architecture with mosaic tiling on one wall and a circular sun roof on an indoor terrace. Just behind the bar is a very wide wall that comes out slightly and it looks like once there would have been a grand fire place there. The waiter told us that the building is very old and has had many renovations and extensions over time. He believed it used to be a school for some time and then for many years it’s always been used for selling food, ie restaurants.

We paid the bill and then off we went full, content, smiling and time to unwind at his place. Once we got there I made us some non alcoholic champagne with coconut water, sparkling water and fresh squeezed lime. Then we chatted for a few hours before separating for the evening into our rooms.

On Sunday I woke up at 7:30am refreshed and ready to go for a run. I had already planned a 7.5 mile where I would go from his place near Old St Station north up to Regen’ts Canal and then Eastward right up to Victoria park. I ran the whole perimeter of the park. It’s much bigger than you might think. You could easily get a decent normal training session just doing one circle of the park and nothing else. I was in my Salomon Speedcross 3s. Some people say they have problems with these on roads and they are for trails only but I haven’t had any issues on roads with them. Though at the park I ran on the dirt track trail circling the whole park 😉 The sun was shining and I remember smiling because it was just so beautiful to be in such a busy part of the world and see so many people getting out early on a Sunday morning, on their own or with friends, running on the canal and the park. It really lifted my spirit. We do all kind of really want the same thing in life… happiness.

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After getting back to my friends and changing we took a trip up Columbia Road east London where the flower markets are. DO NOT go down here unless you are willing to move VEEEEEERY slowly, enjoy the plants and flowers and absorb the smells. It was absolutely jam packed with people and very slow to get through. My friend asked if I was ok if it was annoying me. I just told him how beautiful everything was. So colorful and aromatic! Then we came to the end of the street.

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Next we headed to the famous Brick Lane which is sprawling with many markets of hand crafted goods and home made foods. We were specifically looking for a place called Tickled Tastebuds, 91 Brick Lane which was supposed to be in the Upmarket. We found this Vegan bakery on Happycow.net and looked forward to buying some savoury pies. After walking around in circles for an hour and half 7 times we gave up looking for it. The website said to check their Twitter for live info as to where they are. We checked and there was no info and they didn’t say they weren’t there. I do believe they didn’t go that day which isn’t good because they never told anyone. I have sent an email to ask them though as I have been known to  have things right under my nose before and not see them.

We decided to move on back to another Brick Lane market where we had seen several vegan stalls earlier. We decided to have some Ethiopian street food and we were not let down! It was absolutely delicious. Now unfortunately I have no idea what it was. The guy in front of us ordered something as we arrived and it looked so amazing we just asked if it was Vegan not veggie and they said “yes it’s Vegan”…. “OK We’ll both have whatever he’s just had”. We then bought a smoothie from another stall to drink with it.

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When queuing for the drinks I spotted a girl at a stand waving her hand in the corner of my eyes. When I turned she was looking right in my eyes and smiling and she said “I LOVE your hat”. I was wearing my VEGAN hat 😛 she then pointed to the cookies and sweet treats on her stall “All these are Vegan”. I called across using hand gestures to communicate properly “Thank you 🙂 I’ll be over after this food to come and get a few to try!”. After eating our amazing street food we went back to get some cookies. I got 2 normal cookies, a brownie and a chocolate mint cookie and they were so yummy! I ate 1 on the train home a few hours later and the rest when I got home. The girl was so nice. I asked politely if I may take a picture because I’d like to pop it on my blog and she said it was fine.

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So the end of my trip was approaching. We meandered around some of the streets for a while and stopped off at a Pret A Manger by St Pauls Cathedral for an orange infused latte with soya. This has now become one of my friends top choices for the future. Another point for our dear cows 🙂

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Then I got back to Euston and headed home. I put my chillout music on my iphone and relaxed back in my seat. I smiled and I thought what an amazing time I’d had. I really didn’t realise how much there was in London for Vegans. I was highly impressed and I thought about how anyone in England who is Vegan and likes City life seriously ought to be living in London.

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I’m looking forward to my next trip where I will be digging out other places for us to go. Until then I’ll cherish all these wonderful memories.

All my love
-ScottyRunner


The Secrets to Success – How Badly do you Want it?

Just watched this again this morning. I have seen this video several times. It’s a sportsman and motivational speaker called Eric Thomas. From humble beginnings to great success. This has helped inspire me and helped me to not give up working on what I wanted to do in life. These are the kind of videos that have encouraged me to work out my higher purpose.

Enjoy it 🙂


Vegan Mexican Chili Pizza with ‘Cheesy’ Topping.

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OK so someone asked for the recipe to this one so here we go. This makes enough for a 12inch pizza 🙂

Pizza Base
1 tablespoon olive oil and some for oiling
150 g wholemeal self raising flour
teaspoon dried marjoram
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
50 ml vegan yogurt (click here for my recipe for home made cultured yogurt)
Salt and pepper

Sauce
1 can chick peas rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
pinch salt and pepper

Cheesy topping
125ml soya milk
50ml olive oil
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cyder vinegar
1 big tablespoon vegan bouilon
2 medium boiled potatoes
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

Pizza base –

1. Preheat oven 180oC and oil your pizza try lightly with a brush.
2. Combine all the base ingredients together and knead for about 15 minutes.
3. Roll out to fit the pizza tray. We pushed any bits left hanging over into the mould of the pizza tray.
4. Place in pre heated oven for 5 minutes and remove and place on a rack to cool. While cooling, spread oil over the top of the pizza base with your brush. This stops the base getting soggy when you put veg and stuff on top because oil is hydrophobic (repels water).
6. NOTE at this point if you make a batch you can freeze the pizza bases and pull out when you need them in future.
7. Once cooled place pizza base back on the pizza tray ready to top.
8. Start mexican sauce

Mexican Sauce Topping

1. Mash up the chickpeas with the garlic, oil, chili powder, tomato puree and salt and pepper.
2. Add the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans and mix well.
3. Spread this over the top of your pizza base

“Cheesy” Topping

1. Heat soya milk but don’t let it boil.
2. Add potatoes and mash up together.
3. Combine all the other ingredients and mash up well.
4. Use a spoon to blob this mixture around the pizza top.
5. Throw some jalapenos on top at this point if you wish.
6. Place pizza back in oven for 18-22 mins.