Year of the Dog

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It’s Chinese New Year on Friday, and it will be the year of the dog.

So, make sure you avoid cleaning clothes, using scissors and sweeping floors.  You’re also meant to avoid crying children …. I leave that one with you!

For the first time in 31 years, I will be celebrating the new year with my family.  It is amazing how time flies, and it really shocked me when I calculated how long I have been in the UK; and family, is something that we shouldn’t take for granted.

Rather than share with you what the year is expected to bring, I thought I would share one of the key marketing trends that is predicted.

Why?

Because we are now working with 2 business coaches and 1 business mentor to drive our businesses forwards.  We have big dreams for giving back and leaving a legacy and in order to do that, we need to get our businesses to a certain level.

With that thought in mind, the marketing trends in China, according to Forbes, include convenience, lower-tier cities, new retail, information partnerships, artificial intelligence, and finally, …

Green, natural, healthy and environmentally friendly.

Whilst these are the predicted trends for China, the final trend, I believe, will be worldwide.  It is already a growing trend and will continue to grow, and when China jumps on board, it will undoubtedly go through the roof.

My partner and I are independent consultants for Arbonne International, which are a vegan company.  For this reason, we do not trade in China, as China still enforces animal testing on the cosmetic and beauty industry.  With this prediction and pressure from global companies, I can see that China’s view on this will be dropped.  In this day and age, there is absolutely no need for this practice to be carried out.

I hope this will happen sooner, rather than later.

What are your thoughts?

In the mean time, much love for Valentine’s Day, and wishing you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

I’m Confused!

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You may, or may not know, I am vegan, and have been for over 4 years now.  I am very conscious that the reasons why I adopted a vegan lifestyle, may not be the same reasons why someone else would want to become a vegan.  My partner and I primarily did this for his health initially.  Since then, as animal lovers and as compassionate human beings, we stay vegans for the animals and also for the planet.

During our time as vegans, we have influenced numerous people to adopt a plant-based diet.  I get that it’s not us “converting” them.  I think it’s more the fact that people watch from a distance, their curiosity is peaked, they find out more, they give it a go, they feel good and next thing they know, they are eating a plant-based diet!

This week I set up a Facebook group, My Kind of Diet, primarily for people who are interested, or is on a plant-based diet; to share what I know and help where I can.  As my background is Exercise Science, with a particular interest in health, it makes sense to speak about the benefits of a plant-based diet for our health.

I know that for health, we are looking at a wholefood, plant-based diet, but hey …. baby steps, right?

So, someone in the group asked me what the difference was between a vegan diet and a plant-based diet.

Here are my thoughts about it.

On the surface, they are the same. You can look at two plates of food and they would be identical.  Nothing on the plate would have come from animals, and would be vegetables, pulsed, nuts, seeds.

The difference between both plates would be the principle behind what is on the plates.

Someone on a vegan diet is prompted by animal rights issues, the ethical treatment of animals, and environmental impact of animal consumption and exploitation (for diet, fashion, etc), and so will also live a vegan lifestyle, e.g. use of leather, wool, etc.  The Vegan Society in the UK define veganism as,

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

On the other hand, a plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.  A plant-based diet is not necessarily a vegetarian diet. Many people on plant-based diets continue to use meat products and/or fish but in smaller quantities.  People who follow a plant-based diet generally do so for their health, i.e. either to prevent chronic illness and disease or reverse chronic illness and disease.

I hope that helps clear up any confusion for you.  And as for which diet to choose?

My personal recommendation is to start with a predominantly plant-based diet, as there is substantial evidence that indicates a diet that is low in animal products and high in fruit and vegetables can help manage most chronic diseases.  A strict plant-based diet has been shown to halt, and even reverse some chronic diseases.

Adopting a plant-based diet is also one of the top three lifestyle choices that we can adopt to reduce our carbon footprint.

You may find that you are very happy here.

On the other hand, you may find that you are driven to make even stronger ethical choices, and may then move towards a vegan lifestyle.

Whatever your choice, I implore you to look at your health and begin reducing the amount of meat and animal products that you are consuming.  You can start with meat-free Mondays, and move on from there.

For further discussions and help, come join my Facebook group.

You WILL Fit!

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I am a “boxes” kind of girl …

By that, I mean that I like things to fit in boxes.  Not so much stuff (I much prefer organised mess), but people and situations. I have a tendency to look at someone and put them into a box in my head.

Basically, I am judgmental.

I can, almost instantly, decide if I like someone, or not, and that really isn’t necessarily a good, or useful, thing to do.  I used to think it was gut instinct, which it most probably is, but I would then proceed to judge them based on that.

Over the years, I have learnt to catch my judgment switch going off, pause and drop any expectations. And yet, the skill is in trusting gut instinct and being completely open.  Honestly, this is work in progress for me. When I am open, I seem be oblivious to my gut instinct.  When I listen to my gut, I tend to be closed and judgmental.

The other thing about being judgmental is that there are times when I am judging myself; against the “norm”, other people.  And that is when I need to give myself a big slap because I do know better?!

So what I need to do is make quiet time, to breathe, to meditate and contemplate because when I do, finding that magical balance point is so much easier.

How about you?

Do you find yourself being judgmental, of others, as well as yourself?

Till next time … x