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Advice: How to fast?

August 25, 2012 | Tina | No Comments | Events and Activities, Food and Drink, Health

I have just finished a 15 days fast. Well in actually fact the fast itself did not last 15 days, but in order to do a 3 days water fast it is essential to prepare the body. This takes time. This article is a step-by-step guide.

Do not fast if you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, is pregnant or breastfeeding. For most people fasting is not an easy task and you need to be prepared to take time out to do it.

You can reduce the side-effects of fasting by following a live-juice fast instead of pure water. It will slow down the removal of toxins from the body and also remove some detox symptoms. Detox symptoms include: neusea, headache, dizziness, lack of energy, stomach pain, cramps, pain in the legs, confusion etc (please feel free to add your experience to it).

The benefits:

3 days helps the body get rid of toxins and cleanses the blood.
5 days begins the process of healing and rebuilding the immune system.
10 days gives the body time to reverse the damage caused by long-term exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins.

It is not advisable to go straight from normal eating and drinking habits to fasting. It will cause the body to go into a shock condition. I once tried it in Thailand. I wanted to fast and thought that because I live mainly of fresh fruit and vegetables, I could go straight from eating this to fasting on water. I gave up after the first day.
You will need to get off the various stimulants and food addictions in order not to shock the system.

The below article is a step-by-step guide to fasting:

Step #1: Preparing to fast (Week 1 & 2)
Slowly stop eating meat, dairy, fish, drinking coffee, alcohol, smoking. By the end of the second week your diet should be only fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.

Step #2: Raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds (3 days)
Three days where all meals consist of only raw fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts.

Step #3: Blended raw food (3 days)
Three days before the fast, blend all your food in a processor. This is a way to prepare your digestive system to slow down and be ready for the lack of food. This is the step I skipped last time I fasted and it made a world of difference to do it. Drinking food is not at all the same as chewing food.

Step #4: The fast (3 days)
Drink at least 3 liters of water every day. You may find this a challenge on the second and third day because your stomach shrinks. Make sure you have complete rest these days. Do not make any plans. I suggest you take the days off or alternatively start day 1 on Thursday evening and end the fast on Sunday evening. This is what I did. I found the first day the hardest. I constantly thought about food. Even the most simple food seemed overwhelming delicious to me (like a dry piece of bread with a tomato). I also suffered from insomnia and some confusion. The second day was easier except that I was dizzy, had visual problems and felt nausea a few times. The third day was a breeze except for a strange pain in my legs and a bit of nausea. The first fruit shake was honestly not as good as expected. You can ease the fast by drinking destilled water with organic lemon juice or organic camomille tea. I didn’t have access to organic products and therefore I stuck with water.

Step #5: Blended Raw Food (3 days)
Return to blending raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts for 3 days after your fast. The desired effects of a fast can be ruined by eating cooked foods immediately after.

Step #6: Raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds (3 days)
Three days where all meals consist of only raw fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts.

Step #7: Reintroduce Food
Slowly reintroduce all kinds of food back into your diet. If you think you might have food sensitivities or allergies, this is an ideal time to test these foods out. One at a time, slowly reintroduce wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, and sugar to your body. Choose one for one day, and during that day consume 2 to 3 servings. Note any reactions. Wait for a day and then on the third day, try another food. Repeat until you’ve tried all the possibly allergic food types.

The best part about the fast for me was the fact that I kept it and that I have developed a new found love for cooking/preparing food.

Best of luck with your fast and please write your experiences to us so that we can share with other readers.


Retirement and pension are illusions

June 17, 2011 | Tina | 1 Comment | Events and Activities, General, Health, Travel

Retirement planning is like making a life insurance. It should be viewed as nothing more than a small plaster on the wound if worst case scenario should happen and you become physically incapable of working and need a reservoir of capital to survive.

Timothy Ferriss makes a strong case for this in his book “The 4-Hour Workweek” and I must say that his arguments are hard to beat. Here goes:

Retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed for at least three solid reasons:

1. It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter – nothing can justify that sacrifice.

2. Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hot dogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4 % per year. The math doesn’t work. The golden years become lower-midlle-class life revisited. That’s a bittersweet ending.

3. If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that’s the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you’ll be so damn bored that you’ll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You’ll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn’t it?

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you!

This is the reason why I have chosen to spend all of my 20s and half of my 30s travelling. This has always been my dream – to see the whole world. So by now I have lived most of my dreams and have travelled more than 50 countries in the world. I don’t dare to postpone.
And I don’t take life or “tomorrow” for granted. I don’t take for granted that I will be old or even live until I am 50. And should I be so blessed to have 70 years to experience the world, I can’t take for granted that I can even walk by the time I “retire” and so how can I travel the world if I am not physically well? There are no garantees in life and certainly not on time. I am not a pessimist – I am realist.

I will never say that I will travel when I get retired – because by then I have seen it all. For sure!


Global warming…not in Denmark?!?

December 7, 2010 | Tina | 3 Comments | Denmark, General, The environment


Odins pocket-park – Is this a park???

November 15, 2010 | Tina | 4 Comments | Denmark, General, The environment, Travel

The municipality of Copenhagen decided to create a new park in Copenhagen. Now when I think about a ”park” I always have in mind a space with air, green grass and trees. A place where you can enjoy nature and get away from the city. What do you imagine?

When they ”built” Odins pocketpark (Odins Lommepark in Danish) I was so disappointed. As you can see on the picture, more than half of it is cement, and there is absolutely no grass what-so-ever.

I suppose the obvious ”symbolism” is a green crack in the cement. But honestly, they could have made the ”whole” thing a grassfield and that would have been more of a green crack in the cement. Nørrebro is all cement. Did we really need a cement park???


Sierra de Guara National Park, Spain

November 6, 2010 | Thomas | 1 Comment | Spain, Travel

The Sierra de Guara is what’s known as a mountain massif in the province of Huesca, the most northerly province in the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. Its highest point is Tozal de Guara (2,077 m).

It seems noone really goes to Sierra de Guara, except a fanatical bunch of climbers who repeatedly spoke of the Canyon in glowing terms as “…a world class climbing destination possibly the best sports climbing destination in the world.”

It took about three and a half hours to get from Barcelona to Rodellar, where we were staying, and one of the few human settlements within the park. Rodellar is a sleepy little town perched on top of a canyon wall with spectacular views down into the Canyon and over the surrounding Massif. Apart from a few locals and the crazy climbers, all you’re left with are the most beautiful vistas and…silence.

We saw eagles, vultures, mountain goat and wild boar in our short time there, and spent hours wandering through the river valley marvelling at the other-wordly landscape, surrounded by the sweet smell of wild Rosemary and Lavender.

In terms of activities, the climbing in Rodellar is not really for beginners, although we did manage a terrifying ‘Via Ferrata’ which involved scaling some rusty iron rungs banged into the canyon wall, kitted out with helmet, harness and ropes.

In the Summer it’s a top Canyoning spot – Canyoning basically involves donning a websuit and hurling yourself down the river canyon – sliding and jumping from rocks, swimming through underwater tunnels, and leaping off precipices into plunge pools.

We stayed in a ‘refuge’ called Refugio Kaladraka, perched in a spectacular location right on top of one of the Canyon walls. The people were great, the climbers friendly, it was cheap and very, very beautiful… Did I say that already?


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Holiday or honeymoon on the Maldives

October 21, 2010 | Tina | 1 Comment | Events and Activities, General, The environment, Travel

The Maldives is one of the most famous honeymoon destinations in the world and for a good reason. In this article I will tell you a bit about the country and give you my guess as to why people like to come here for a honeymoon.

The Maldives is a country (yes, not a city or a region in another country as some people tend to believe) consisting of about 1200 islands in 26 atolls. An atoll is a ring of coral reefs or coral islands, or both, surrounding a lagoon. Despite being a total size of 90.000m2 the Maldives is 99% water, and has just 298 km2 of land. It is located west of Sri Lanka and south of India, deep in the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives has a population of about 300.000 people. A third of the population live on the tiny capital island of Male which is just a couple of kilometres across. The rest of the population are spread out on the atolls and there are basically no other towns in the entire country.

100% of the Maldivian population are Sunni Muslims and since the 2008 constitution it is not possible to be a Maldivian citizen and a non-Muslim. The annual population growth is about 3%.

Polygamy is legal and a man can have up to four wives, but it is not common practice to have more than one wife.

The Maldives has three industries of which the country live: Fishing, ships and tourist. Tourism accounts for 20% of GDP and about 90% of government tax revenue. Every traveller pays 8$ ”bed tax” per night they spend in the Maldives.

The Maldives has a ”one island – one resort” policy. This means every resort always has an island to itself. The guest house business (for cheaper accommodation) is also developing slowly, but it lacks public transportation and the places in which you can currently find cheaper accommodation (say 50 – 100$ per night for a basic room with/without breakfast) are ”public islands”. This means it is the home of Maldivians and wearing a bikini or shorts is strictly forbidden. A modest/Muslim dress code is required.

The Maldives receives about 600.000 visitors every year (most spend minimum one week). Most of them come on a fairly expensive package tour which includes full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

So what makes this place a popular honeymoon place?

Well it’s very beautiful. If you dream about a small bounty island with coconut palms, very white sand and warm, turquoise water…this is it! You will have plenty of time to look your sweetheart in the eyes for endless amounts of time (as much as you can pay for). The activities here are very limited: sleep, eat, read, swim, sunbath, snorkel and dive, trips to other islands or Male, fishing, spa treatment, surfing, and other water sports. Obviously cultural activities and sightseeing is severely limited on a small island and so is shopping.

I believe the Maldives is attractive to people who are looking for complete relaxation with no decisions needed to be made (usually there are only one or two restaurants in the resort). Hence you see a lot of old couples here and honeymooners and I am sure most of them have a fantastic holiday.

****
A few recommendations for responsible travel in the Maldives:

1.Drink desalinated water at your resort rather than imported mineral water or bring your own bottles and boil the tap water (which is desalinated) and drink that.
2.Take your bottles, plastic and batteries home with you. The Maldives does not have facilities to dispose of them.
3.Minimise the use of air-conditioning in the room
4.Ask for your towels not to be rewashed every day.
5.Keep the use of running water in your room to a minimum – water is expensive to desalinate and uses fossil fuel to do so.
6.When diving and snorkelling, do not feed, touch or otherwise interfere with the corals and fish.
7.Don’t purchase turtle-shell products.

Bon voyage!!


Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi Maldives or Adaaran Selected Hut Fuss Maldives?

October 13, 2010 | Tina | No Comments | Events and Activities, General, Travel

I have just been very fortunate to be able to spend a 10 days holiday on the Maldives and in this article I will tell you a bit about the Maldives and the resort I stayed in.

The Maldives is a country consisting of about 1200 islands in 26 atolls and it has a population of 300.000 people. A third of the population live on the tiny capital island of Male which is just a couple of kilometres across. The rest of the population are spread out on the atolls and there are basically no other towns in the entire country.

The Maldives has three industries of which the country live and in which most Maldivians work: fishing, ships and tourism.

The Maldives has a ”one island – one resort” policy. This means every resort always has an island to itself. The guest house business (for cheaper accommodation) is also developing slowly, but it lacks public transportation and the places in which you can currently find cheaper accommodation (say 50 – 100$ per night for a basic room with/without breakfast) are ”public islands”. This means it is the home of Maldivians and wearing a bikini or shorts is strictly forbidden. A modest/Muslim dress code is required.

The Maldives receives about 600.000 visitors every year (the majority spend minimum one week). Most of them come on a fairly expensive package tour which includes full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

North and South Male atolls are reachable by speedboat, whereas the atolls further away requires you to pay for a seaplane. For this reason I choose to stay in North Male atoll. This saved me about 500$ for a seaplane ticket. Instead I paid 95$ for a return 20 minutes speedboat ride.

I chose to stay at Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi Maldives because it seemed like a nice place from the reviews I read on agoda. Room prices are about: single: 256$, double: 320$ and triple:432$. These are the prices given by the Lonely planet. I paid about 190$ per night for a single room with half board (on top came the flight ticket). Mind you that half board in this place is not like other places. It doesn’t include any drinks (except coffee and tea at dinner time). No water or soft drinks. So be prepared to pay 7 $ for a bottle of water.
Besides this difference to normal resorts, the place has some serious downsides:

1. A huge (not sound proof installation) generator in one end of the island which makes it impossible to rest or sleep in many rooms.

The generator makes a constant, loud noise and this makes a lot of rooms very unattractive…well impossible to sleep in. So if you chose to stay at this resort, make sure you get a ”good” room. Below is a list with room numbers and a brief review:

Beach front villa 100-111: Not great. You have the Sunset restaurant and the habour right in front of your balcony.
Beach front villa 112-163: Excellent (beach front, no noise).
Beach front villa 164-172: Okay (only view of trees in front of the sea).
Beach front villa 173-176: Not great (loud sounds from the car driving to and from the Ocean villas all the time).
Beach front villa 177-192: Excellent.
Beach front villa 193-207: Okay (some noise outside from generator, I suspect you cannot hear it from the inside).
Beach front villa 208-220: Unacceptable level of noise outside.
Beach front villa 221-227: Bad! (loud noise from the generator, sitting outside will not be nice and it will not be quiet inside).
Beach front villa 228-237: Good (no sea view, but sound of the sea and close to surf spot, good for surfers)
Beach front villa 301-308: Good (Garden villa in the opposite end of the island-away from the generator)
Beach front villa 309-312: Horrible!! (the generator is right behind these rooms and the sound is extremely loud inside the room…you will not be able to sleep or rest!)
Beach front villa 314-317: Okay – not great (close to the restaurant and reception, far from the beach, not very romantic, but not so close to the generator)
Beach front villa 319-321: No sea view, but sound of sea (good for surfers)

In my booking I had asked for a quiet room. I hadn’t thought about noise from a massive generator – I just usually ask for this because I like to sleep in a quiet place. I was sure that a high-end resort would have a sound-proof installation given that people pay quite a lot of money to go there – you imagine state-of-the-art everything. That was unfortunately not the case at all.

I got garden villa 310. I didn’t sleep the first night because of the massive noise from the generator (I had not slept the night before either because I was travelling). At 6 in the morning I went to the reception and made a request. Please change my room, I can’t sleep and have not slept at all. I was told that it couldn’t happen that day (my second day) but that I could possibly change the third day). During the day I went several times to the reception explaining that I was very tired, haven’t slept at all and underlined that I really need to move room. I was told I can move to room 303 the day after in the morning. Apparently the current guests would leave at 06.30 – so I should be able to move in at 9. Great. I was happy. At least I would be able to sleep on my third night at the resort.

I took a walk that night in the evening and happened to come by room 303 and hear the manager confirm with the guests that they were leaving the day after. So I went for another sleepless night in my extremely noisy room. At 22.30 that night the reception called me to tell me that ”sorry you can’t move anyway”. On top of this I was told that it was because someone else had moved into the room that night (which no. 1 was a lie and no. 2 I asked how that was possible when I was promised that room???). Then I was told that they were overbooked. Needless to say I did not accept this. At 23.00 at night I had to go in person to the reception to argue with them. And let me assure you that they were not in any way apologetic or trying to solve the issue. I was very angry and tired.

Can you imagine…you pay a minor fortune for a needed holiday – 10 nights in the Maldives. You get a room where you can’t sleep or rest and you are lied to, disrespected and haven’t slept for 3 nights???

In the end they said that I can move the day after, but they can’t tell me the room. At 9.00 in the morning I stood in the reception with all my stuff and gave them back the key to room 310. At 10 they moved me to room 307. This was a good room, but the whole hut fuss and hugely impolite service ruined the first part of my holiday. As you can imagine a lot of guests try to move room (I spoke with several). If they don’t continue to insist and get very angry – nothing happens…and honestly how fun is it to go on a honeymoon with your sweetheart and having to fight continuously with impolite staff just to have the peace and quiet you paid for?!?

This gets me to no. 2 nuisance:

2. Extremely poor service

This ”resort” has the worst service ever! Funny enough I read before I came here that the service level in the Maldives was above the rest of the world. Well definitely not at Adaaran selected hut fuss. From the minute I arrived they acted like they really couldn’t care less about the guests. We arrived in the lobby, got a fake-orange sugar drink and a piece of paper to fill in and was told that the manager would pick it up. He never did. Eventually we all went to the reception desk and there we were each given a 20 second briefing. Mine was something like ”Here is the main restaurant, here is sunset restaurant-you have to pay for, here is Dhodi bar and here is beach bar”…circles drawn on a piece for black-white printed A4 paper. Your room is down that way”. So off I went to find my room alone and 1 hour later arrived my suitcase.

No guest where told the highlights of the island – like the huge crowds of dolphins that pass the resort every morning between 9-11 at the boat pier (I guess that would make the resort trip redundant) and that they feed the sharks at 21.00 at the boat pier every night. This is quite a site…although I don’t think it is environmentally good and it does increase the risk of swimmers getting bitten/attacked later on since the sharks get used to feeding. It would also have been nice to be told the time the swimming pool was open, how the internet works (it didn’t!), where the best surfing and snorkelling is etc etc. A 20 second briefing is just plain poor service.

Since then I struggled with the service. My room didn’t get cleaned, beach towel that didn’t get changed for 4 days, room appliances that didn’t work (see 3. Run-down resort), waiting 25 minutes while getting savaged by mosquitoes for someone to come and open my door with the master key because the cleaner locked me out of my own room (it would have taken 2 minutes to drive there on a bike) etc etc

I have met several other people in the resort who has complained about several things and just been ignored or told that they were probably wrong. E.g. A German honeymoon couple I met on my trip. They asked for a wake up call four times. The first time the reception forgot about it, the second time they called, the third time they called late and also the fourth time. The 4th time the reception was suppose to call at 8.00 (the couple had a trip to go on at 9). Instead the reception called at 08.15 and says ”it’s 08.00”. They were wearing wrist watches and realised they were really late and got stressed. When the lady goes to complain at the reception, the receptionist says that probably her watch is wrong.

3. Run-down ”resort”

This place is old…or more correctly started – for a supposedly 4. star resort, it’s not up to standard. A massive generator that ruins the holiday for 25% of the rooms, old fridge in all the rooms (also making lot of noise), air-conditioning that needs to be fixed all the time, no hot water in room 310, writing on the wall in room 310, pillow and bed that smells like puke in 310, a whole day with toilets that didn’t work in the entire resort, rats on the roof…

4. Table setting to benefit employees – not customers (holiday makers)

The Banyan main restaurant serves all the meals. I suppose honeymooners will envision a romantic setting…forget it!! This is a massive dinning hall and you don’t get to chose where you sit. The captain of the restaurant will decide which table you sit at and you are not allowed to move your entire holiday. You get a number and a table and that’s it. Now that’s not all. You also don’t pick who you sit with. The German honeymoon couple I met, were placed together with an old German couple…so the four of them at a small table…how romantic is that?!? I witnessed a group of 10 East Europeans arriving and wanting to sit together. No – not possible. They don’t move tables together or move people. So they were spread out at three tables, three different places in the dinning hall. The older German sitting next to me (two couples) had obviously not decided to sit together. They arrived at different hours to eat and never spoke a word to each other and when the first couple would leave the other ones would talk with the next door table about how annoying they were to sit with…what kind of holiday is that???

I sat alone for 10 days which was okay, but if I had been able to chose I would have sat with people I was spending time with during the day on the beach. The arrangement makes it impossible for people to meet new people and socialise, but on the other hand forces lots of people to sit with people they don’t know (or like).

I have tried every day to get an explanation about this (for customers) absurd system, but no-one would tell me. It definitely doesn’t help the holiday feeling…you can’t meet people and decide to eat together, you can’t chose who you sit with and you can’t chose where you sit. The only ones it may benefit are the waiters who may hope for a tip after serving the same table for one week. So just like the extremely poor service – this place seems to give no value to customer satisfaction or needs at all!

On the bright side – it is the Maldives and the island is very beautiful. If you dream of a bounty island with coconut palms, very white sand and warm, turquoise water…this is it! You will have plenty of time to look your sweetheart in the eyes for endless amounts of time. You will share it with 350-450 other guests and 280 staff members, but it doesn’t feel crowded. The activities here are limited: sleep, eat, read, swim, sunbath, snorkel and dive, trips to other islands or Male, spa treatment, surfing, and other water sports.

I believe the Maldives is attractive to people who are looking for complete relaxation with no decisions needed to be made (usually there are only one or two restaurants in the resort). Hence you see a lot of old couples here and honeymooners and if they get a decent room from the beginning, get your own table (and are not forced to sit with someone you don’t like) and otherwise don’t need any service from the staff (which will not be available unless you scream or pay) – I bet you have a nice holiday here.

Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi Maldives or Adaaran Selected Hut Fuss Maldives? To me this place will always be the last and due to this, the extremely poor service level and the run-down state of things I will not recommend this ”resort” to anyone. I will, however, recommend the Maldives if you are looking for a beautiful place with complete relaxation.

Bon Voyage!


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