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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

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I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

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Today I am blogging about inexperienced Psychics/Mediums. There are many psychics/mediums around who give the profession a bad name, t...

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Thursday 1 December 2011


Another story from the Daily Mail, I guess I read this online newspaper a lot, however this caught my eye today, "The Dukan Diet".

What do I think of it? well another unhealthy diet, I feel the reason the book has been a great success is there are a lot of people out there who want instantaneous results. I feel this is a trend forming in society in this generation and the up and coming generation, who want everything yesterday. We can see this with the way the economy has gone and the amount of debt people have allowed to accrue on their credit cards and this has spilled over into our bodies. Losing weight is not easy, its very easy to gain weight for the vast majority of people having said that this is nature's way of looking out for us in times of famine. OK that doesn't happen with the majority of us now but it is an ancient throwback survival mechanism, where we had to eat in abundance when there was food and the body would store it and use that fat economically to sustain us throughout famines. This is why some people have trouble with yo yo weight loss and gains.

We were designed as human's to eat a well balanced diet carbohydrates are our body's cells fuel, carbs are broken down relatively quickly and converted into sugar glucose. As for Dr. Dukan saying Carbs are pointless and just provide energy. Carbohydrates are such foods as bread, cereals potatoes, bananas, well for a start bananas are a very rich source of potassium, potatoes are a rich source of vitamin C, cereals such as wheat contain a very rich source of Vitamin E, barley the Vitamin B complex, folate and iron and most cereals are rich in essential trace elements necessary for good health such as manganese, zinc and copper. Of course I am referring to complex, unrefined carbs and not refined carbs, such as biscuits, cakes and sweets. Not to mention the fibre necessary to maintain a healthy gut and protect us from certain cancers.  Meat is digested very slowly by the body and a lot of toxins are built up in the intestines as it is putrefied by the body, a diet highly imbalanced in favour of proteins is not only boring but it puts stress on our body especially the kidneys, The body does use up more energy to break down this protein, hence the weight loss but at what cost to your health, its this process that causes the classic dog breath.  To  give up complex carbohydrates is to deplete the body of a wealth of valuable and essential nutrients, but don't take my word for it there is a wealth of information out there.

This diet does get results in the short term, you cannot deny that but it is not healthy and I can see how society today, who want a quick fix on every aspect of their lives like it. There is a saying that comes to mind, 'Marry in haste, repent in leisure' and so it is with this diet, what trouble are you storing up for the future just because you have no patience and not willing to work at something? You only have one body, nature gave you all the tools to help maintain it and that means a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.


Jenni Murray vs Dr Dukan

She lost five stone on his diet - then piled two back on. Jenni Murray meets the world's most controversial slimming expert and asks: Are you just peddling false hope?

For a whole year, this man dominated my life in a way no man has ever done before. Each time I sat down to eat, I thought of his name. Every time I broke the rules he had laid down for me, I was consumed with a sense of guilt  and disloyalty.
Even a simple act such as arriving at a building would cause his name to spring to the forefront of my mind. When faced with a choice between taking a lift or staircase, I would struggle up the stairs for his sake.
At his insistence, I drank no alcohol, turned down offers of the occasional sweet or cake, walked the prescribed 20 minutes each day and sang his praises regularly — and my own for staying faithful to him.
Jenni Murray meets the world's most controversial slimming expert, Dr Pierre Dukan, to try and uncover the truth
Jenni Murray meets the world's most controversial slimming expert, Dr Pierre Dukan, to try and uncover the truth

His name? Dr Pierre Dukan, the man who, in less than a year, helped me shed five stones. Like many Dukan devotees before me (all three Middleton women, for a start) I’d been pleased with my progress.
Despite the occasional bouts of bad breath and constipation, Dukan’s eponymous diet really seemed to work. I had such high hopes of a new, slimmer, healthier me facing my 60s with energy and aplomb. Only three months ago I weighed 14st (down from 19st), with the intention of getting down to 12st.
But all the hard work of the past year came undone in a matter of five (admittedly indulgent) weeks on a recent holiday. Two stone has somehow crept back on. Which is why I am, unsurprisingly, filled with trepidation at the thought of meeting Dr Dukan himself. Will he be disdainful when I present myself as such a poor poster girl for his life’s work?
All three Middleton women are known to be Dukan devotees
All three Middleton women are known to be Dukan devotees

I’m more than a little surprised at his choice of venue for the encounter. It’s the Roux restaurant near the Houses of Parliament in London — one of the capital’s most sought after gastronomic havens. I know this because it’s where I first fell off the wagon during a dinner to celebrate the publication of a friend’s book.
Beautiful bread and butter, meat or fish in gorgeous sauces; potatoes, top-class wine and three puddings each. Not at all a Dukan destination! Is this a man, I wonder, who fails to practise what he preaches?
Then I realise he’s invited me to meet him at 3pm. He’s not offering me lunch, then. I’m ushered into a private room and feel, immediately, the full force of his Gallic charm. He leaps to his feet and embraces me, a kiss on each cheek.
‘Jennee, ’ow wonderfool to meet you at last.’ Oh, what is it about a French accent that is so instantly seductive? I shall have to keep myself seriously in check if I’m to avoid melting under the warmth of his rather handsome smile.
Might as well get the elephant in the room out of the way. So I start by explaining why I’ve found it hard to stick to the diet. I’ve found it too rigid, too lacking in variety and I look down ruefully at the obvious excess pounds I’m carrying.
But if I expect sympathy for my failure — or an apology for his — I could not be more mistaken. He simply shrugs his shoulders in a very French way, and says: ‘No one ever claimed losing weight was a party. As for variety — you ’ave much choice of meat, fish, seafood, fat-free dairy products and many, many vegetables.’
Yet I’m not the only person to find fault with the Dukan Diet. A French doctor, Jean-Michel Cohen, criticised the protein-rich regime in a magazine, saying it could lead to serious health problems among some patients, prompting Dr Dukan to sue him for libel. Dukan lost the action in July this year and was ordered to pay £2,700 damages for ‘abusive’ legal procedure.
Then, earlier this month, the British Dietetic Association ranked the Dukan first in a list of ‘faddy’ diets to be avoided when the New Year weight-loss resolutions begin. It said the diet — which is essentially a high-protein, low-carb regime divided into four distinct phases — had no scientific evidence to back it up and branded it ‘confusing, rigid and ineffective’. It also claimed that cutting out food groups is not advisable. 
But before we get to all that, there’s a vitally important question which — despite the acres of coverage devoted to Dr Dukan — appears nowhere in any of the research I’ve carried out. How old is he? He seems surprised at the question, but says: ‘I’m 70, but only just.’ Now that is impressive. He could easily pass for 50.
Between 80 and 90 per cent of women who go on a diet aren’t successful
He’s slender, clearly at the peak of physical fitness, beautifully dressed in a simple suit and tie and undeniably handsome. Oops! There I go again. I ask if he ever had a weight problem. His answer is accompanied by a wry smile. ‘Er no, never.’
So how did he become interested in nutrition when he trained as a doctor and specialised in neurology, working in a French hospital, rather like Britain’s Stoke Mandeville, with victims of road accidents?
He explains that he found that kind of work distressing, which is why he set up his own practice as a GP in Paris and, some 40 years ago, one of his patients — a grossly obese man — set him on the road to developing his new life’s work in nutrition.
The story of that first patient is well rehearsed. The man wanted to lose weight. Dukan had no experience in this. He says: ‘I told ’im I knew nothing, but the man said he could give up anything apart from meat. I told ’im  to eat only meat for five days. He lost 5 lb. “Now what can I do?” the man asked. “I don’t know,” I replied. “Try another five days.”
‘He lost 3 lb more. Then I said: “Now eat meat or any other protein one day, then meat and vegetable the next.” He continued to lose weight. ‘This was the start of the “Attack” and then the “Cruise” phase of my diet. I decided to retrain at a nutrition hospital. It was the days of low-calorie diets helped by amphetamines. I knew that was wrong.’
So, how did he work out the basis of the diet, and convince himself it was a safe and sustainable way of losing weight? ‘I knew it was not in the psychology of the obese to count calories or measure portions and dieters needed to see quick results. So first “Attack”, then “Cruise” — eating as much as you like, but only protein and vegetables.
Jenni says for a year she drank no alcohol and turned down offers of the occasional sweet or cake
Jenni says for a year she drank no alcohol and turned down offers of the occasional sweet or cake
Jenni says for a year she drank no alcohol and turned down offers of cake

‘In the Eighties, I realised too many people were gaining again, so I devised the Consolidation phase, slowly re-introducing the foods that are not vital such as fruit, bread, cheese and some celebration meals. That comes when you have reached your desired weight. In the Nineties, I added what I must describe as an anti-marketing idea — that this was a diet for the rest of your life, eating what you want, but with protein only on a Thursday.’
Anti-marketing, presumably, because you would never have to buy another diet book again. But why Thursday? ‘Because at first I left it open and quickly realised you had to give people specific rules or they’ll put it off and never do it.’
So, how about the criticism? What does he make of the Dietetic Association and the accusation that there is no scientific basis for the diet? He swats the question away as if it were an irritating fly. ‘Oh, what are they going to say? Eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet is built to fail! We live in a civilisation of consumption. Produce more. Consume more. The food industry pushes you to eat.
‘Then the pharmacy industry treats the consequences — cancer, diabetes and so on. The balanced diet created 500,000 obese people in France in the Sixties. Now it’s 6.5 million. These people — this organisation — know that I can damage their business. I touch their financial interest. People buy my book. They don’t go to a dietitian.’
Perhaps so, but he’s still not explained the science (or lack of it) behind the Dukan diet. I press the point and see the first sign of annoyance in the calm facade of Pierre Dukan. He reminds me, smartly, that he is a qualified  doctor who underwent seven years of basic training before studying nutrition. He then informs me that he has personally treated 40,000 people with no apparent ill-effects.
It’s a rare human that can find any pleasure in a prolonged, painful period of nothing but protein and vegetables as the Dukan insists on
He assures me the body has need only of protein and vitamins — all of which he says are present in meat, fish and vegetables. The body, he emphasises, merely gobbles carbohydrate, which doesn’t provide anything remotely useful apart from energy — and we all, he says, have a natural reserve of fat that provides all the energy we need. ‘Carbohydrates are good for people in the jungle, but pointless in Paris,’ he says.
 I am bombarded with a long description of how a cornflake, the ultimate quick carb fix, is battered out of a corn cob, losing its fibre and giving little nutritional value. Dr Dukan rails against the dietitians for comparing his diet with other ‘celebrity fads’ such as the alco-diet (eat nothing, so you can drink), the baby food diet (eat a pot of pureed baby food) or the raw food diet (speaks for itself).
‘It’s just not fair. These diets are ridiculous. My diet is sophisticated. In France, I train other doctors who use my methods.’ Ah yes, what about his former pupil — Dr Jean-Michel Cohen, whom he sued for libel. Why does Dr Dukan suppose he lost his case? The fly swat comes out again.
‘He was trying to damage me. He saw me as competition. He claims my diet causes cancer and heart disease. It’s not true. Obesity gives those diseases. Only those with kidney problems should avoid my diet. Too much protein is not good for a damaged kidney.’
And Dukan’s failure to win his case for defamation? ‘Oh, in France you can’t defame an idea, only a person. He criticised my theories not me. That’s why I lost.’
The Dukan Diet has been adopted by 20 countries and translated into 10 languages

My final salvo is the evidence published by the Paris Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital showing that 75 per cent of people surveyed after trying the Dukan diet had regained all the weight they had lost. (I make no more mention of my own embarrassing gain and nor does he.)
‘Oh’, he says, ‘I don’t think the research was very scientific. It was carried out through a women’s website. Five thousand people answered an online questionnaire — after five years, 75 per cent had regained the weight they’d lost. That means 20 per cent had not. The general statistic shows that only 5 per cent of dieters keep stable after five years, so I do better.’
Still, not the magic bullet so many of us had been led to trust in. I ask him how much money he’s made out of the vast numbers of us who rushed to board the Dukan bandwagon. He hesitates, but I press him. ‘Millions?’
‘Of course, millions,’ he says, re-applying the smile. ‘I’m a very wealthy man. But I don’t need the money. I use it only to continue my mission — to spread the word to other countries. To China, to the U.S., to Brazil. I have no time to spend it on myself — but my son will be very rich when I die.’
Rich from the gullibility of so many of us who are looking for a quick fix for a problem that every sensible bone in your body says will only respond to long, slow, hard work. Take in less, put out more — the simple but effective solution to long term weight gain. But it’s a rare human that can find any pleasure in a prolonged, painful period of nothing but protein and vegetables as the Dukan insists on.
As a parting shot I ask Pierre Dukan what he had for lunch in the Roux.
‘Good sauce?’
‘I don’t eat the sauce. I don’t like it. I had some salad.’
No bread, butter, potatoes, pudding? Had he drunk wine?
‘No, no, no, no, no.’
There was pity in his eyes as he surveyed my waistline. Fair enough. You can’t knock a man who actually practises what he preaches. Maybe he just has more self-control than me — than most of us. Or maybe he just doesn’t like food.

Maggie Brown (Author)
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I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
Q. What is free will?
A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
Q. How does free will affect a situation?
A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
Q. So what is the Aura?
A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.