Pagans celebrate the new year at Samhain, the traditional start of the seasonal cycle; but I think many would agree that the return of the Sun marked by the winter solstice and the coinciding start of a new calendar year makes many of us think of new beginnings.
I decided this year, as so many people do, that I need to improve my health. I gave up alcohol nearly 2 years ago, which was such a good decision but noted I have since gained weight and developed an unreasonable sweet tooth!
When I visited Glastonbury this year for the solstice I spotted a book in Gothic Image called "Sweet Poison: why sugar is making us fat" by David Gillespie - which has proved to be quite a revelation! It explains the addictive nature of sugar and the science behind why and how the obesity epidemic correlates with the increase of sugar in our food.
Remember when we were told that fat makes us fat and gives us heart disease? Well science has since proved that fat, particularly saturated fat helps us feel sated so we eat to our calorific requirements and stop. In contrast sugar (specifically the fructose half of plain old sugar, rather than the glucose half) can only be metabolised by the liver and the calorific value is not registered by the hormones that tell us to stop eating. Additionally fructose is converted to fat in the body more readily than other carbohydrates, elevating triglycerides and bad cholesterol, despite being classed as low GI!
Our bodies are only designed to metabolise fructose as whole fruit and vegetables, perfectly packaged with fibre, rather than juiced, extracted, concentrated and added to nearly every food stuff on the supermarket shelves. Even honey has a high fructose content and urban honey bees have been found to gather sugary substances from our industrial waste instead of flowers, which contaminate their honey!
How can we avoid sugar? Go back to basics and eat real food from the Earth. The food industry relies on us needing convenience, telling us we just need to 'moderate' whilst encouraging us to eat 'healthy' low-fat foods made more palatable with sugar, and 'healthy' and 'natural' fruit juices which contain more sugar than a can of Coca Cola!
Butter, cheese, milk, plain yoghurt, eggs, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts/seeds, wild fish (not farmed) and meat (if you are not a vegetarian) or other vegetable proteins are all proper nutritious food - real energy from the land instead of manufactured. Homemade bread does not even need any sugar, the yeast works well from the glucose in the wheat and lactose if you add milk to the liquid content.
It's how our ancestors ate and should be an important part in pagan life. That's my new year's resolution :-)
Membership of the Pagan Federation Mid-West and Wales (Myddle Earth) includes four (quarterly) issues of the Pagan Federation journal Pagan Dawn.
It also includes four (quarterly) issues of our own district publication Myddle Earth.
You will also gain access to the Myddle Earth website, which allows you to fully participate in its various features and services, read its published articles in full, see its image and video galleries and download a growing selection of Pagan Federation Mid-West and Wales publications - Drops of the Arwen, Offas Ring and Myddle Earth.
You will also be kept up to date with the latest Pagan Events and Moots in your area and will be able to purchase tickets to our summer camps, conferences and other events at a discount rate. So what are you waiting for? Join up today and take advantage of being a member of the the Pagan Federation Mid-West and Wales...
To join the Pagan Federation Mid-West and Wales, please visit Become A Member.
Please note: conditions of membership are different for residents in Scotland & Ireland and for Pagan Federation International.
If you are a Pagan, aged 16 or over, and support the Aims and Objectives of the Pagan Federation, you may apply to become a Full Member of the PF.
All members receive the PF magazine, Pagan Dawn. Other benefits of membership include a Members' News supplement to the magazine, access to the contacts network and the Members-only Internet discussion group on our website forum, discounts on PF products and conferences, and invitations to members-only events. Members can also become involved in the administrative and campaigning work of the PF, if they wish to do so. After one year, members are eligible to vote in elections for the PF committee or can choose to stand for election themselves.
People new to Paganism who are sincere seekers are welcome, as are experienced Pagans.
Annual Membership rates: Single: £20, Joint: £24
(If you already have a subscription to Pagan Dawn, you need only pay the difference)
To apply for membership:
- Click to read a statement of the Aims & Objectives of the Pagan Federation.
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- Please return the completed form with a cheque payment to The Pagan Federation, BM Box 7097, London WC1N 3XX.
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Subscribing to Pagan Dawn
An annual subscription to the PF's magazine, Pagan Dawn, can be an ideal way to get more involved in Paganism. Each quarterly issue contains news, comments, in-depth articles, a readers' forum, book and music reviews and a Pagan "What's on". Anyone interested may subscribe. There is no additional charge to register a joint subscription with your partner.
Annual Subscription rates: UK - £12.00, Elsewhere - £15.00
Subscribing to Pagan Dawn does not automatically make you a member of the Pagan Federation. However you can upgrade your subscription to full Pagan Federation membership by paying the difference, at any time.