Remember to take care of yourself during the holidays

You have a lot to accomplish during the holidays. To do that your #1 priority is to take care of your spirit, mind, and body.

When you don’t? Well, here’s an example from history of what could happen.


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Fun and funny ways to celebrate the holidays (and sneak in your exercise)

Don’t just sit and watch Christmas movies — get up and move with these fun ways to celebrate the holidays.

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9 Ways to Enjoy Rosemary

I trimmed back a rosemary bush and had to come up with several ways to use a ton of rosemary.

Of course, my favorite way is #9!

5 Tips for Thanksgiving (and holiday) meals

When clients are concerned about overeating during the holidays, here is some of the advice I share:

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The Big Fig Finale

A listener asked me “What does a fresh fig look like and what would I do with it?”

I understand the question, because until we began growing a fig tree a few years ago, I had no idea either.

Here are a few ways I enjoy fresh figs!


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How to Harvest Sweet Potatoes (aka Treasure Hunting)

It is my favorite time of year. Not just because of time with family and friends - but because the sweet potatoes have cured and are ready to eat!

A few years ago when we started our garden we were somewhat intimidated by the mass of vines and not knowing how potatoes would be found under the soil. How deep would they be? How far would runners go? What are the ways to get them out? Just pull or get rid of the vines first?

Before you watch the video of the steps we took, here are a few other tips:

  1. Dig what you cut that day. We had sweet potatoes in three beds. We cut down only the beds we could harvest that day because all of the experts say potatoes will rot in ground if the vines are cut off and left for days. We’ve not tested it. We just go with it.

  2. For the size bed we have in the video (4X8 feet) it took about 6 hours for two adults to cut, dig, set up to cure, and clean up the mess.

  3. Curing? Directions say “warm” place and then after 2-3 weeks to cool storage. We’ve never created an ideal environment for curing. We just lay them out, not touching each other, on cardboard in the garage. If it is September, it might be warm. If it is October, it is cool, especially on the garage floor. But they’ve always cured beautifully over 3 weeks.

Happy Hunting!

Finish Your Year Strong

Every November you have a choice:

Either say “The holidays are coming, the year is practically over - I’m just going to start again next year on ______.”

Or say “I have two months left in this year and I am going to finish strong.”

If the thought of finishing strong intrigues you, please take a few minutes and listen to this. Then pull out a piece of paper (or your laptop) and jot down what one result you would like to have by the end of this year. Focus.

This time of year - Celebrate with family and friends. Take time to rest and recharge. AND don’t throw away your dreams until next year. Finish strong.

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6 Reasons Why You Need to Learn to Thrive

While growing up I suspected I had developed an unhealthy relationship with food – and sometimes even exercise.  But it was years later at a work potluck Christmas party that I knew I absolutely had a problem and had to change.

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Everyone else was at the buffet ooh-ing and ah-ing over different dishes colleagues brought. 

I was in the bathroom terrified. 

“If I eat that _____ I’ll have to workout extra tomorrow. Who knows how many grams of ____ it has.”

“I want to try ____ but if I do I’ll probably not be able to stop eating it. I’ll lose control.”

“I’ll be good and just have the veggies I brought.  If I break my diet I’ll be bad.”

I realized I was the only one, apparently, who did not feel she could enjoy the food, the people, or the party and I stayed as far away from the table as possible.  Why?  I thought something was inherently wrong with me. 

Truth? By that party I had spent almost 20 years fine-tuning my “diet mentality,” through the various diet and exercise rules I “learned.”

And I wanted freedom.  Desperately.

I wanted to exercise just because it felt amazing and made me strong and healthy. Not because it burned calories I’d eaten the day before.

I wanted to eat a balanced meal because it was satisfying.

I wanted to enjoy a cookie without fear of eating five.

I wanted to go to a party and enjoy it all.

Scratch that.

I didn’t even know that was possible.  All I could fathom was maybe not being consumed with worrying about every morsel, gram, or repercussion after a party.

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Thankfully, that part of me is a distant memory, because …

I found my path to THRIVE.

Did you see?

I released a brand new course where I’m going to share with you the mindset, principles, techniques, tools and skills practiced by people who find – and follow – their unique path to health, wellness, and a Thriving Life.

It’s called …

THRIVE LIFE (Go here to learn more; we get started in just a few days.)

While there are so many health benefits to this way of life, the most surprising benefit has nothing to do typical health-parameters.

It has to do with relationships and accomplishing other goals.

Huh?

Let me explain.  Envision that same work party where I locked myself away in the bathroom.  If my mind had been free from food-fear, I would have been mingling with colleagues and enjoying getting to know their families, enriching my relationships.

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And when my mental and emotional space is not cluttered with how many calories I eat or burn or how much I do this or that, my mind is free to be creative and pursue dreams.  Plus, there is way less stress.

Here are six reasons why you need to learn your path to THRIVE.

#1 – You stop outsourcing your emotional health to food or over-exercise

You can learn the difference between physical and emotional hunger.

Food was created to bring you pleasure, but it is not what heals hurts or brings peace.

Exercise has many ways that it lifts your mood, but there is a point of using exercise to escape struggles vs. helping you overcome them.

When you sit with discomfort and find what actually fills you emotionally, your strength of self grows.  Your confidence to live and handle difficult situations increases.

#2 – You have mental space to pursue your dreams

This one is huge.

When your mind is cluttered with searching for the next diet or exercise program, or finding recipes that fit the new fad, or shopping for the latest exercise gear you cannot focus on what really matters most to you in life.

It may even go deeper.  If you are staying focused on analyzing food / exercise to avoid dealing with something else, it is time to move forward. 

If you are hiding your best self behind counting this or that, trying to control every bite or workout, it is time to open the curtain and step out on your stage.

#3 – You have increased physical energy

You sleep well, you wake up with energy, and it stays consistent throughout the day so you can accomplish your goals and still enjoy family and friends at the end of the day.

#4 – Your ability to enforce boundaries, with yourself and others, improves

Food police?  Exercise drill sergeant? No more.  Either from others or yourself.

You confidently handle critics.

You also are able to tell yourself “no” when a choice does not value you.

#5 – You have more fun and are more fun to be around

When your excitement comes from discussing the latest fad exercise or diet, it is a boring life.

However, when you have recent adventures or a book you read or a funny family gathering or ____ to talk about, conversations have life in them.

You meet up with people, confident as you accept yourself and others, with less judgement.

Social situations around food are no longer stressful.

You have the physical fitness to enjoy the adventures you want.

#6 – You feel successful, because you are successful

When you learn what works for your body and your lifestyle, and you have the tools and techniques to stick with it, you reach your goals.

You feel successful along the journey because you are living what you value.

#7 – This is a bonus reason because I just had, an hour ago, a conversation with a client and this reason came up – so I added it: 

You become a leader and influencer for good in those around you.

This client was waiting on the inspiration to make changes to come from his circle of family and friends.  I challenged him “Think about who you want to be.  Do you want to be the person who waits to be led or do you want to lead?  Do you want to be influenced or do you want to influence?”  I challenge you, too.  When you find your path to Thrive, you will inspire others to do the same.

This is what finding your path to THRIVE brings you.  It is one of the most amazing adventures you’ll ever go on.

Go here to check out my newest course, so you can THRIVE in your LIFE.  (We start in a few days.)

{Pop Quiz} Are you a Path Finder?

As crazy as this may sound, I want you to take a moment to imagine this:

Imagine a world where you *really* ignored the voices saying that there is only one way to live healthy and you have to conform to that only-one-way?

How would you live?

What would your relationship with food, with others, with yourself be like?

How would you move?

What would you experience?

Yes, it takes practice, but you can become a person who is unphased by what other people or the media say about how you should live your health.

But, it doesn’t just stop there.

Picture yourself:

·         Waking up refreshed with energy, excited about the day.

·         Sticking with new healthy habits, as they come easier for you.

·         Not worrying about “lifestyle diseases” – maybe even with a decrease in meds.

·         Enjoying peace in your relationship with food, not scared of it.

·         Discovering new physical activities that enhance all of your life.

·         Savoring meals, without guilt and shame.

·         Enjoying life – whether big adventures or intimate family time – free of physical, emotional, or social limitations.

Would you believe it’s possible?

It is . . . and the “how” is your being a Path Finder: finding your path to Thrive.

What are the traits of a Path Finder?  I’ve identified 7 qualities of a Path Finder –

#1 – PRACTICE Mindset

#2 – PRINCIPLES Lifestyle

#3 – PERSONALITY Focus

#4 – True PLEASURE Awareness

#5 – PEOPLE and Resource Seeker

#6 – PRESENT

#7 – POSITIVE POSITION

Do you embody these 7 traits of a Path Finder?

 Finding a path in Colorado

Finding a path in Colorado

POP   QUIZ   TIME

Have you ever …

A) Decided to skip exercise because there wasn’t time for “all” of it?

B) Felt frustration because you tried and failed a program?

C) Been unable to stop the food police from telling you what you should or shouldn’t eat?

D) Beaten yourself up because of something (or how much) you ate?

E) Told yourself “What’s the point?” about a new healthy habit you tried?

F) Felt unable to relax as you multi-tasked a meal, or even a walk in nature?

G) Missed an important experience with your mind elsewhere?

Did you say “yes” to any of the questions?

You are not alone. 

At one time or another, we have all been there, done that, thought that.

Please DO NOT beat yourself up.

It is because of the lies we are taught by well-meaning family/friends and by the media.

Fortunately, it is never too late to discover and embrace the truth.

Here are some basic ways to begin to understand the 7 qualities of a Path Finder:

 Finding a path in Utah

Finding a path in Utah

#1 – PRACTICE Mindset

            Experimenting with ways of eating and moving, with a lot of compassion for yourself.

#2 – PRINCIPLES Lifestyle

            Learning the principles (not rigid rules) of healthy living, based on research – adapting them as life situations change.

#3 – PERSONALITY Focus

            Discovering what is fun for your personality, your preferences, your needs.

#4 – True PLEASURE Awareness

            Knowing that false-pleasure never really satisfies, choosing what actually satisfies you.

#5 – PEOPLE and Resource Seeker

            Finding out what is stopping you from achieving your goals and then finding the people and resources that will help you.

#6 – PRESENT

            Embracing where you are and experiencing the present moment

#7 – POSITIVE POSITION

            Believing that you can do it, consuming only messages that reinforce your beliefs and dreams, and focusing on your reasons.

Learning and practicing these 7 qualities will change your life for the better.  I promise.

How much do you desire to Find Your own Path to Thrive?

I hope a lot (because it changes everything!)

Let’s keep this discussion going.

Answering Your Questions about Finding Your Path

Wow.  Last week’s video “#1 Way to Wreck Your Path” was one of the most watched and engaged videos yet.

Spoiler alert: it’s believing the Big Lie that there is only one right way to health and that you must conform to it.

One listener commented: “So true about finding our own path...how often do we try to fit someone's diet book into molding our way of eating only to find it doesn't work? Then we think we are the failure. No, we only learned that way isn't for us.”

As I’ve discussed how to find your own path, some questions came up.  You may have had these, too. So I’m answering them in this video.

How do I lose weight without reinforcing the diet mentality or exercising hours a day?

This is such an important question, because if you lose weight using the diet mentality you know from experience the weight will return and you will be even more trapped in an unhealthy relationship with food. And if you lose weight by exercising hours a day, you set yourself up for injury and you don’t have a life outside of exercise - so it is not sustainable.

First, ask yourself your reasons for wanting to lose the weight in the first place. Is it to please someone or avoid criticism? Is to decrease your risk of diseases you don’t want? Is it, like a client of mine, to set a healthy example for her young son? Once you know and like your reasons, then you have the motivation to do the sometimes uncomfortable process of Intuitive Eating and Mindful Movement.

To lose weight without a diet mentality means learning and practicing in depth the steps of Intuitive Eating. Eating only when you are physically hungry, finding solutions to meet your emotional and social hungers without food. Learning your triggers and cues for real hunger. Eating, with unconditional permission, exactly what you want - and knowing what you want is more than just the whim of your tastebuds but also how you want to feel and honoring your body. Savoring your meals without distraction. Research shows us we eat 10% more when we eat distracted - that’s enough to stall weight loss. And then stopping when you are satisfied, and learning what satisfaction feels like.

Exercise has been shown to not only decrease risk of diseases, but it aids in weight loss. But think in terms of accumulating movement throughout the day. Your appetite will adjust to your activity. Be sure to add in strength training to increase your muscle and metabolism.

What makes up a healthy breakfast?

My first thought on this is asking you to define healthy for yourself, especially if your doctor has you following something specific. What makes you feel energetic and gives you a sharp mind for several hours? A great place to start is the Powerful Plate, with equal parts protein and complex carbohydrate, like old fashioned oatmeal, with a bit of healthy fat thrown in. Then listen to your body and adjust from there.

Help.  I struggle with fast food.

This is so common; don’t feel bad. Dig in a little and discover what is causing the struggle. Is it a chaotic lifestyle that you need to prepare food ahead so you have options? Is it that you have trained your tastebuds to crave the salt? If so, perhaps experiment with smaller portions while adding fresh vegetables along side to begin re-training your taste.

Is it that you somehow feel fast food is “bad” in a moral sense? When someone says “I struggle with ___ sin,” that is a moral behavior. But fast food is not inherently sinful. So when you put rules around something that doesn’t naturally come with rules, your sense of autonomy begins to crave the forbidden.

If you take the rules away and say “I can have fast food anytime I truly desire it” often it loses its power. Next time you crave it, ask yourself why you desire it and how much you desire it and if you can wait another 30 minutes before having fast food instead of something else. See what you learn about yourself and the desires.

And when you do choose, out of reasons you like, to have fast food, put it on a china plate and savor it without distraction. You may experience it differently.

How can I deal with the low carb, low fat, no salt, no sugar way of eating?

I hear your frustration. This question highlights the craziness of the diet industry. Sometimes for health reasons a doctor may recommend low salt or low sugar, but when someone tries to combine all of the diet industry advice, without a medical reason, it becomes a big mess. It is classic of when all of the lies in the Big Lie (only one way) collide.

All you are left with is lettuce and water - and even that is controversial now as to what kind of water.

The first way to deal with it is to question what you’ve been believing. What is your personal reason for preferring these descriptions? Do you feel better with a certain amount or type of carbohydrate? Do you have more or less energy on low fat? Why are you avoiding adding salt or sugar? If your only reason is its what you’ve been told, it is time to look at Intuitive Eating, which I talked about earlier.

I’ve tried everything and failed.  Even if I find something that works, how do I stick with it?

This question is powerful. There are five essential pieces to this puzzle. First is building your belief that you can. Look back over other life changes you have made and see what strengths you have. Then apply those strengths here.

Also, think of all of the reasons you want to make this change, and make sure those reasons are yours. That you own them and are not adopting someone else’s reason. Then think of all of the barriers stopping you. Time? Fear? Boredom? Whatever they are, go through them until you have answers to overcome.

Whatever you are doing, also make it fun. Fun for you. If you enjoy nature, include that. If you don’t enjoy nature but like high-energy environments, set yourself up with that.

And get the support you need. Remember the game show with “phone a friend” - do that. Whether someone walks with you or cooks with you or coaches you, you need support.

But do not wait until you have these five pieces in place to start. Start and work through these as you go.


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The #1 Way to Wreck Your Path and Six Signs You May Be Wrecking Yours

Here’s a question that I consistently hear: “I’m tired of doing what doesn’t work.  How do I get results?”

You buy the latest diet book every friend swears by – but then they swore by a different one 3 months ago.

You join a different gym or buy another late-night-TV fitness gadget, because this one has (fill in the blank) that the others didn’t have, so you know you’ll use it – next week.

You download another meditation or time-tracker or motivation app, but somehow it doesn’t help.

How do you get results?

Before I share how, I want you to understand that the answer goes against what main stream media and well-meaning fitness gurus will tell you.  It even goes against what my mom taught me (and it took me a while to accept that).

Here’s the answer: Find your path.

A path that is yours, that embraces your lifestyle and values, that enhances your life without consuming it. Why?  Because if it does not focus on you, no program, book, gadget or method will work for you.

Finding your path paves the way to

  • greater energy

  • freedom from worrying about lifestyle diseases

  • peace in your mind and with yourself

  • an increased enjoyment of life – whether big adventures or time with family

  • thriving in every area of your life

Go here to enroll in my newest course … Thrive Life

You can find your path to results.  Your first step, which – I know from experience - is the hardest, is to stop believing what I call the Big Lie.  It wrecks your path.

It pushes you further away from success and traps you in bondage.  The lie, like most, is subtle in your mind, but you can see signs of it wrecking your path. 

At the end I’ll tell you 6 signs that you may be believing the Big Lie.

First, I’ll share a bit of my story of believing this Big Lie and how it harmed me for well over 25 years of my life.

I used to be deeply trapped in this lie.

When I was 9 I started believing it.  I bought my first fitness magazine and started on my first diet.  The magazine (this one – this is the original one) became an authority figure in my life, telling me that I was supposed to eat and exercise a certain way.

I counted the calories on my plate; I analyzed the food on my parents’ plates when we’d go out to eat.  In fact, my dad later told me they stopped enjoying going out as a family because all I did was analyze what everyone was eating.  I wouldn’t skip exercise, even if it meant getting out of bed with a fever to finish it. 

Yes, I did that.

The deeper I got into this lie, the more restricted I became.  Others thought I was self-disciplined – but I wasn’t.  Self-discipline comes from the inside, from the self.  I was forcing conformity to an outside, external, someone else’s rule.

(A little side-lesson here … we all have a need for autonomy, that thing that protects us and our boundaries, our sense of self and our ability to choose.  I allowed this magazine – and later all of the other diet rules – to tell me what to do.  It was my job to tell me that, so I was allowing my sense of autonomy to be pushed down.  And it will only be pushed down so long.)

I remember in college going to parties, eating “perfectly” but then coming back to an apartment and eating ½ bag of my roommates cookies.

I was recently reading some of my old journals, which at the time included daily calorie counts.  I came across a section in which I was berating myself for sneak eating several doughnuts.  At the time I wrote it, I recall thinking how “bad” I was.  When I look at it now, I understand that I was starving myself for several days prior, through both under-eating and running several miles.  No wonder I was craving doughnuts.

Of course, the good news now that I don’t believe the lie anymore, I could care less about doughnuts and actually don’t like them.

So, what is the Big Lie? 

“There’s one way to be healthy and you must conform your life to that one way.”

You absolutely must give up believing this lie to reach your health and fitness goals.

Each person’s path is unique, but not random.  Your path will be based on underlying proven principles, but if you believe that there is one way to live healthy, you will be forever trying things that don’t work in the long-run and will always be searching outside of yourself. 

  • Those ways create struggle, not ease.

  • Those ways are complicated, not simple.

  • Those ways constrict and deprive you, not free you.

Are you possibly believing the lie that here is one way to be healthy and you must conform your life to that one way?

Sign #1: You skip exercise or meal-prep because something else came up.  Why?  You didn’t have time to do it “all” and you’ve believed all-or-none; don’t do something half-way.

Your Path? You believe something is better than nothing and set standards that fit your life.

Sign #2: You go workout and push yourself until you cannot walk normally the next day, then don’t workout again for weeks.  Why?  You’ve believed “No pain – no gain,” or “go hard or go home.”  Or a guru has told you that if you don’t get your heartrate into a certain zone it does you no good.

Your Path? You embrace the intensity of exercise you enjoy.

Sign #3: You eat foods that bore you, or you feel guilty if you eat something you really enjoy. Why?  Someone has been the food police and told you, “If it tastes good, spit it out.  It can’t be good for you.”

Your Path? You listen for true pleasure (not false pleasure) and savor quality.

Sign #4: You are busy and don’t exercise, believing if you don’t exercise for ____ time it won’t do you any good.

Your Path? You know the research and that helps you adapt to your life. Some days you go exercise and some days you fit in bits of activity throughout your day.

Sign #5: This ____ diet is the one that works.  It worked for so-and-so celebrity last year.

Well, that was last year.  This _____ diet is the one that really works.  It worked for so-and-so celebrity this year.  And if it is not working for you, you must be cheating.

Your Path? You understand what works for your body and you know that what you eat is not a moral issue.

Sign #6: You avoid going to a party, trying a new adventure, or just going to the gym because you have to look a certain way, touch your toes, lift a lot of weight, run a particular pace – or you are really unfit and you aren’t trying.

Your path?  You go enjoy your life, because you ignore the confining opinions and messages out there.

These lies push you further away from success.

If you want to find your path to results, you must decide once and for all that the hype and the lies, no matter how glorious and glittery they sound, are not for you.

I get it.

Rejecting the lies can be hard, but do you know what’s even harder?

Continuing to try every new one-size-fits-all rule, failing, feeling guilty and trapped.

This is why learning to find your path to Thrive in Life will be one of the most amazing gifts you’ll ever give yourself.

I am thrilled to let you know that enrollment is open for my newest course: Thrive Life. Click here for details.

Join the conversation – Which of the six signs are you guilty of that is wrecking your path?  What is one small thing you can do TODAY to help you break out of the lies and Thrive?

 

Critical question for gardening plus our garden updates

I get asked what we are planting in our garden, so I decided to show you here.

This year was different. As we continue to develop our medicinal herb garden, we had much less time this year for our vegetable garden, so we used what we have learned to decide what to plant.

We asked ourselves, which plants are most important to us, because every plant has its unique pests and challenges. This summer we decided to not grow some of our regulars.

Beans require a lot of harvest and processing time. Squash is quick and easy to harvest and process, but the squash bugs are beyond description. I won’t even go there. Melons and cucumbers are nice, but there is not a great way to save extras.

So, tomatoes (easy to grow, harvest, and freeze), peppers (the same), and sweet potatoes (the variety I like are only sold at a store an hour away) were it for us this summer. Spring and fall include a lot of beets and radishes, as their pests are easy to control.

Next year our medicinal herbs should be established and we plan to get back to our regular vegetables. As you garden, for that matter as you live, there is a continual re-setting of priorities.

Enjoy your harvest!

Why self-care is important: one client's story

A picture is worth a thousand words.

So, since this is a picture plus words, how many does that equal?

Seriously, this is a powerful visual I’ve used to illustrate the impact of self-care.

Unplugged? 3 (surprising) Lessons and 3 Rewards

A friend challenged me to unplug and disconnect for my birthday. I thought, “That won’t be a problem. I’m already disciplined in my social media, email, and entertainment.”

Maybe not.

Listen in to find out what I learned…and then try it yourself for a day and share your results. I can’t wait to hear!


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Top Ten Tips for Aging Healthy

I don’t like the term “anti-aging” because it somehow implies aging is a bad thing. It is not only not a bad thing, it is an inevitable thing you’ve done a few seconds of since opening this post and reading it.

Your goal is not to prevent aging but to age well. I’ll go a step further. Your goal is to get to your 90+ year old self, look back with bright eyes in a strong body and say “Yes! That was the way to live.”

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So, how do you create that strong life lived?

Here are the top ten tips from my two favorite age-well books:

  1. Keep your arteries healthy. Not very glamorous sounding, I know. But this guards against heart attack, stroke, memory loss, vascular disease, and even some wrinkles. Markers to watch? Blood pressure and C-reactive protein (for inflammation). Actions to take? Exercise, eat several vegetable servings a day, and get your annual check up.

  2. Pump up your immune system. Actions to take? Enjoy tomato sauces regularly, get your vitamin D, and see your dentist to prevent periodontal disease which increases inflammation in your body.

  3. Avoid smoking. Actions to take? Simple. Either don’t start or get whatever help you need to stop.

  4. Manage your stress. I literally mean your stress. What stresses your friends or spouse or neighbor may not stress you. And how you manage it may be different than their method, too. Actions to take? List what the major stressors are in your life and find ways to eliminate, work around, or re-frame them. Also, this month try at least one new way plus a “tried-and-true” to relieve your stress. (Hmmm…makes me want to break out my favorite old comedy, “Oscar”.)

  5. Increase your circle of friends and deepen the relationships you have. Your social network is shown in numerous studies to not only increase life satisfaction, but lengthen your life as well.

  6. Get it out. If you have experienced secret traumas in your life and you have not processed them yet, please seek counsel. The silence is killing you.

  7. Manage your money. In both books this is directly or indirectly covered as a means to lower your stress and provide for your needs throughout your life.

  8. Discover your purpose. Even if you haven’t found your “big calling” in life, focus on finding meaning in the everyday things you do and enjoy.

  9. Find faith. In one study “the risk of dying over nearly three decades was 36 percent lower for frequent church attendees than for infrequent attendees.” In Emotional Longevity the author tells a powerful story of Maya Angelou’s faith for her son’s physical healing. The doctors said he would be paralyzed. She said “Thank God, my son will walk out of this hospital.” Three days later he moved his toes.

  10. Live in positive emotions. Walk through negative ones. Sadness, grief, anxiety will come. Your ability to come through those and back into a positive place increases your “resiliency” and ability to age healthy.

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Here’s to your 90 year old self, saying “Well done. Now watch this,” while you wink at your great grandkids.

(Books: Emotional Longevity by Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D. and The Real Age Makeover by Michael F. Roizen, M.D.)

Six (Healthy) Books. Pick Your Favorite.

It is back to school time and, hopefully, the kids are settling into good study habits again.  Why not join them and pick out a book, too?

Here are six books to help you live a healthy lifestyle.  One of the books is a bit rigid in its philosophy (listen in to hear which one), but it is definitely less rigid than a diet.  The other five books range from creative experiments to a step-by-step program to fun physical movement.

Trouble deciding which one is right for you?  Let me know in the comments what your needs are and I'll help you choose.  (Of course, you can't go wrong with Go Forward: 28 Days to Eat, Move, and Enjoy Life God's Way to get you started. :-))

 

 

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Diet lessons from a 100 year old textbook

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Science progresses and the old ideas we have lived by are built upon or changed.  We go to school, learn, experiment, update the knowledge base, and then start over again, mentoring the next generation to do the same.  That is an ideal. 

Unfortunately, one area seems to have stopped with this textbook from 1916.  Repackaged?  Yes. New versions? Yes.  But current long-term research no longer backs up what is taught in this book and through modern media versions.

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The picture above is a 100+ year old chamber to measure the metabolic requirement of babies.  The technology has progressed, but the science is principally the same.  I have stayed overnight, for several research studies, in the metabolic chamber at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  (In case you are wondering, it is a small room with a bed, desk, and window.)  This technology measures how many calories a person burns during the time they are in the chamber.

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This device measures the calorie content of food.  Again, technology may look different 100 years ago, but the basic science is as today.

So, what is the problem?  Calories burned.  Calories eaten.  Simple math, right?

That is what was assumed 100 years ago.  I actually have nothing harsh to say about what they taught then.  For then.

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1400 

calories a day for a man to lose weight

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1000

calories a day for a woman to lose weight

They taught the latest information they had.  However, the knowledge base has changed since then.  Research shows (though seldom promoted by diet gurus) -

  • restricting calories this low decreases muscle mass and metabolism
  • counting (carbs, calories, fat, protein) distorts your relationship with food and creates food obsessions
  • living with food rules increases binge eating
  • dieting of all kinds decreases trust of yourself and food
  • dieting fails long-term 90-98% of the time (a.k.a. you gain the weight back, usually plus some)
  • food restrictions negatively impact relationships and mental health

So, what is a healthy way to eat?

  • Listen to when your body tells you to eat.
  • Learn what foods make you feel fantastic and energetic, and which ones don't.
  • Give yourself unconditional permission to eat - even the foods that don't make you feel great.  When you truly want them, eat them fully aware of the result and without any guilt.
  • Savor the food you eat.  Turn off the TV and put down the screen.  (Hint: research also reveals that we eat 10% more when multi-tasking a meal.)
  • Stop when you are no longer physically hungry.
  • Trust that your body wants to be at a healthy weight and it will tell you what to do.

Next time you are tempted with "I'm going to try the new ABCXYD diet" (no, that is not a new diet - at least not one I've heard of), remember it is really not new. 

It's just the newest flavor of the dieting that gained ground during the Victorian era.  (That is a history lesson for another post.)

If you truly want to try the latest and greatest research has to offer, experiment with the list above.  It is mindful-intuitive eating.  And it works. 

You are not a failure. Here's why.

If 90% - 98% of a particular smartphone failed to work after a few months, would you believe it was a problem with the phones or with the users?

If 90% - 98% of diets failed to "work" long-term, would you believe it was a problem with the diets or with the dieters?

The truth is that those statistics are accurate for diets.  (I don't know about for smartphones.)  

This video shares a few more truths (some of them scary), as well as a solution that actually does work.  I'll tell you how your body and mind were created to function best.

Watch it and then let me know your experience with diets.  (Your smartphone?  I wish I could help you with that one.)

 

 

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A Five Course Lunch? An Experiment Worth Tasting.

When you sit down (or stand up?) to eat, are you sick of the "shoulds" and want more of the "savors" of a meal?  I did.

Because of my grew-up-dieting childhood, I used to rely solely on external rules and control (a.k.a. diets) to govern my eating.  We all know those eventually lead to rebel-raids of the pantry.  Now I believe that internal cues and mindful pleasure are the path to healthy eating.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I continue to read and experiment.  I often read about the French way of slowing down and savoring a meal by using courses.  So, I decided to turn a typical lunch into a five course meal.

Typical lunch: Salad greens topped with tomatoes, chicken, and a bit of cheese/dressing.  Fruit, either in the salad or as a dessert.  What did the five courses look like and what did I learn?

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The tomatoes became an appetizer

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The chicken and some of the vegetables became an entree

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The simple salad course came next

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The cheese course

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Fruit plus a bite of dark chocolate for dessert

What I liked?  The fresh tomatoes did not get lost in the salad.  Delicious.  Each plate had much more focus and pleasure.  Even the truly tiny bit of effort to plate each course added to the enjoyment and focus.  It would have been almost impossible to eat mindlessly.

It did not take longer to prepare and only a bit longer to clean up.  The meal lasted about 30 minutes (eating slower plus getting up to change courses) vs. 10-15 minutes to eat it all in one big salad.

The only down side, and this is because I am not used to eating this way, was figuring out how much food I needed to satisfy my hunger and bring my energy up to normal.  Spreading it out over five courses made it look like a massive amount of food, so I reduced a couple of portion sizes, did not add dressing on my salad greens, and cut half a banana instead of a whole.

After the meal I kept thinking "I just had a five course meal, why am I still hungry?"  Part of Intuitive Eating is not making yourself go hungry. So, I ate another bite of cheese (probably bringing the fat content of the meal closer to what a little salad dressing would have added) and the other half banana.  Then I was satisfied and had energy for hours.

I enjoyed it so much I will continue experimenting with the multi-course concept.

What about you?  Are you willing to experiment and see how a multi-course meal helps you to slowly savor your food?

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Why Thomas Edison was (Dangerously) Wrong

In 1889 Thomas Edison told Scientific American that he slept only four hours a night.  In 1913, John Hubert Greusel wrote “When [Edison's employees] fell from sheer exhaustion he seemed to begrudge the brief hours they were sleeping.”

It appears that Edison's body/brain was wired for about half of the normal sleep need.  His choice.  And, by choice, those who worked for him attempted to do the same.

The following year, 1914, Edison said "There is really no reason why men should go to bed at all."  This is where I say Thomas Edison was dangerously wrong.  Research is very clear now that the vast majority (actually, almost everyone) needs 7-8+ hours of sleep to function well mentally and physically.

When folks don't get enough sleep, it not only impacts production and performance, it can be dangerous if they are dealing with equipment.

In fact, I sometimes wonder if Thomas Edison - or at least his employees - had slept more normal hours if the 1000 attempts to make a light bulb would have been 500?  We will never know.

So, how can getting enough sleep benefit you?  How to improve your ability to sleep well?  Watch this video and let me know how getting enough sleep helps you.

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