Thursday, May 19, 2011

(A Much Needed) VACATION!

I will be away from May 20-June 5th, 2011 on vacation with my wonderful husband.

This blog will resume at that time.

Doing Nothing

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph
is for enough good men to do nothing. "

Edmund Burke

"Shoulding" On Ourslves

One of the most common words in the invalidating, self-blaming stories we believe about ourselves or our situations is the word “should.”
The psychologist Albert Ellis has coined the
“Stop shoulding on yourself.”

When you tell yourself that you should feel or be another way, you are likely to feel badly about yourself.
As an alternative, try telling yourself that it is okay to feel or be the way you are, even though you have some idea that you should feel or be different.

Moderate Exercise Benefits

Myth: If you can’t exercise hard and often, there’s really no point.

Truth: Even moderate activity is shown to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. If you don’t have 30 minutes in your day to exercise, try splitting it up into 10-minute segments instead. Everyone can find 10 minutes to spare sometime during the day! There are simple things you can do to increase your activity without having to go to the gym: take the stairs instead of the elevator, jump rope or do body weight exercises (push ups, crunches) at commercial breaks, take a short walk after lunch. Remember that any exercise is better than none!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011






“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”

Leo Buscaglia

The Myth of "Spot Training"

Myth: You can take weight off of specific body parts by doing exercises that target those areas.

Truth: This concept is called "spot training" and unfortunately, it doesn’t burn fat. When you lose weight, you are unable to choose the area in which the reduction will occur. Your body predetermines which fat stores it will use. For example, doing sit-ups will strengthen you abs but will not take the fat off of your stomach. Similarly, an activity like running burns fat all over your body, not just your legs.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


"Appreciate again and again, freshly and naively,
the basic goods of life, with awe,
pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy,
however stale these experiences may have become to others."

Abraham Maslow

What Lies Within Us

"What lies behind us, and what lies
before us
are small matters
compared to what lies within us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bananas Over Bananas

Bananas offer serious mood-lifting power, with their combination of vitamins B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; phosphorous; iron; protein; and healthy carbohydrates.
When you eat a banana, you’ll get a quick boost from the fructose as well as sustaining energy from the fiber, which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and ensuing drop in energy and mood. Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, and vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into mood-lifting serotonin. Bananas are also a great source of potassium. Although potassium isn’t directly related to mood, it’s needed to regulate fluid levels and keep muscles working properly, which is important for feeling energized, a key factor for a sunny outlook. And finally, bananas also offer iron, which is crucial to producing energy and fighting fatigue.
Best of all, bananas are available year-round and are easy to tote — just make sure to pack them on top!

Monday, May 16, 2011


"You are the Michelangelo of your own life.
The David that you are sculpting is you.
And you do it with your thoughts."

Joe Vitale


The only way a thought, or series of thoughts, can harm you is if you give them significance. If you don't, they have no power to hurt you. And as long as you remember that your thoughts have no power to hurt you without your consent, you will retain power over your life.
Rather than feeling victimized or defeated by the thoughts that stream through your mind, you'll be able to keep them in perspective. As thoughts enter your consciousness, you'll decide whether to pay attention to them, take them seriously and respond accordingly, or simply dismiss them and go on with your day.

Body Fat Burning Tip

Boost your fat-burning ability by switching your salad dressing to vinaigrette. A daily dose of vinegar helps get rid of body fat.
Want to rev up your body’s fat-burning engine? Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to your daily diet. Research shows that obese people who took one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day dissolved more body fat than those who were on an identical vinegar-free diet.

According to the study, the tart condiment packs a one-two punch for people trying to shed their love handles. Not only does it help the body burn fat, it also makes it harder for the body to store it. Though two tablespoons of vinegar a day may help keep fat away, it should not replace a sensible diet or exercise — your golden road to sustained weight loss. When dieters stopped taking vinegar, their levels of body fat returned to their pre-study levels within just four weeks.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Moving Forward

You are right where you should be at this moment.
Now it is time to move on to what is next.
Whether your life up to this point has been easy or whether it has been difficult, you are here just the same.

Your destiny does not care about your past.
There are plenty of reasons why you find yourself here at this time.

What matters much more, though, are the reasons you now have for moving forward.


I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety
in order to be light and free.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Be understanding to your enemies.
Be loyal to your friends.
Be strong enough to face the world each day.
Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.
Be generous to those who need your help.

Be frugal with what you need yourself.
Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.
Be willing to share your joys.
Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.
Be the first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.
Be the last to criticize a colleague who fails.
Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.

Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.
Be loving to those who love you.
Be loving to those who do not love you, and they may change.
Above all, be yourself.


"Without character, even the most talented leader's contribution to his followers will be far short-reaching, shallower than its potential, and easily forgotten."

John C. Maxwell

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beginning With Ourselves

Several wise people have stated that you must be the change you seek to find in your world.
When we change ourselves to be the best we can be and to conform to our desires, we set an example for others. It is their choice to follow our example or not.
The closer our example conforms to their basic desires and needs, the better the chances they will desire to change and follow it.
Rather than use your time and resources trying to change others, invest this time in changing yourself and you will be amazed at the amount of grief and turmoil you will avoid.

A Daring Adventure

"Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

Helen Keller

Colorful Veggies

Another reason to eat your green and orange veggies: the antioxidant alpha-carotene, not found in vitamins, is linked with longer life.
To help ensure your chances of living a long and healthy life, include plenty of dark green and orange vegetables in your diet. These veggies are brimming with alpha-carotene, a type of antioxidant in the carotenoid family, that’s been linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease and cancer.

Other carotenoids include lycopene and beta-carotene. Carotenoids help ward off DNA damage that can accelerate aging and lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Alpha-carotene may be particularly adept at fending off the growth of cancer cells in the brain, liver and skin. Plus, they’re not usually found in supplements, so the only way to get them is through a diet rich in vegetables.
Some of the best sources of alpha-carotene are pumpkin, carrots, frozen mixed vegetables and winter squash. You can also get them in smaller amounts from vegetable juice, pea soup, and dark leafy greens.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Moment

"If you aren't in the moment,
you are either looking forward to uncertainty,
or back to pain and regret.

And, when you choose to do, this moment will be gone forever."

Dr. Crew Lauterbach, Ph.D., LCSW-R

Our Stories

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.”

Pema Chodron

We all have stories we tell ourselves about the events in our lives.

Many of them are negative.

We often give far more meaning to events than they actually had, allowing them to control us and our actions.
Your stories can either leave you feeling helpless or empowered.
The story won’t completely take away the pain, but it will remind you that it’s temporary–and that you are not helpless.
We never are helpless until we choose to be.

Older and Stronger

Want to have a heart as strong as a 25-year-old’s when you’re 80? You can, with a lifelong exercise routine.
We all know what happens to our muscles when we don’t use them: They lose mass and start to wither. Not pretty. Well, the heart is no different. Research shows that when people are sedentary, their heart muscle mass shrinks with every passing decade.

You can avoid that frightening prospect by getting and staying active. Turns out, a lifetime of working out will not only preserve your heart’s muscle mass but build upon it. According to research presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans, fit elderly people who exercised six or seven times a week consistently during their adult life had greater cardiac muscle mass than sedentary adults between the ages of 25 and 34.
Start pumping up your heart with a daily 30-minute walk. In addition to preserving the muscle in your heart, regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in the United States.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Our Mirrors

What action or behavior of another person reminds you of you, of an action or behavior that you don't like or are ashamed of? Can you recognize yourself at all in the other person's behavior?
When we are uncomfortable about a behavior, we sometimes ask (unconsciously, of course) someone to mirror that behavior to keep us in check. Seeing someone else take selfishness to the extreme serves as a good reminder to us to keep that occasional selfish act at bay. The problem is twofold. One, on a scale of 1 to 100, we tend to perform the problem behavior on a 5 or 10, but we ask someone who operates on a 90 or 95 to be our mirror. Second, we forget that we asked them to be our mirror and we get lost in the injustice of their behavior.

Do you see a connection?
Be brutally honest with this one.

Being Gentle With Yourself

"Be gentle first with yourself - if you wish to be gentle with others."

Lama Yeshe


Think you’ll ace that test? Turns out, we’re not good at predicting how well we remember something. So keep on studying.
When preparing for a big presentation or test, it doesn’t pay to be cocky. The reason: People are not very good at predicting how well they remember something.

If it’s easy to learn, for instance, we assume it’s easy to recall — and that isn’t always the case. Being in a positive mood when we’re studying can also make us think we know the material much better than we do. So even if you think you’re going to ace a test, it doesn’t mean you will. The best way to learn something is through repetition. The more times you review the material, the more ingrained it becomes.

While it’s great to have confidence, don’t let it lull you into not studying. Believe in your ability to do well, and then study anyway.

Friday, May 6, 2011

This Moment


If your gratitude depends on what life gives you or what other people do for you or to you, you will be disappointed more often than you are grateful. But you can learn to feel grateful by rethinking your attitude towards life.
If you know that giving is better than receiving, then you can feel grateful for what you are able to give others. This does not mean you ignore your own needs. You will decide what to give and how to give it, and then at the end of the day you will be grateful for having had the chance to give in your own way.


One of my very favorite quotes is from Ann Landers, who says, "If I were asked to give what I consider the single most important piece of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'"

Safflower Oil

Add safflower oil to your cooking arsenal. A daily dose may boost “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
As much as I love olive oil, some recipes can’t handle the robust flavor of the heart-healthy oil. In those cases, you may want to reach for safflower oil instead. According to a study in the journal Clinical Nutrition, a daily dose of the mild-tasting oil may improve measures of metabolic syndrome — a cluster of symptoms like obesity, high cholesterol and glucose intolerance that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Those who took 1 2/3 teaspoons of safflower oil every day for 16 weeks experienced better blood sugar, higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lower levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker associated with heart attack risk.
Safflower oil is a polyunsaturated fat that contains essential omega-6 fatty acids. Swapping out trans fats and saturated fats for mono- and polyunsaturated ones can help protect against heart disease — when eaten in moderation. Keep your polyunsaturated fat intake below 10 percent of your calories a day.

Spiritual Beings

Thursday, May 5, 2011





A Fresh Start

The power to create the best you and the best life possible for tomorrow is in this moment.
You can find the strength within to use the key of forgiveness to let go of the past and move into the future with a new perspective and an abundant appreciation for this fresh start.
You have the opportunity to create an outcome for your life that’s of your choosing.

Sleep More To Weigh Less

Here’s a win-win: Sleep more to weigh less. People who don’t catch their z’s eat nearly 300 more calories a day.
Hey, sleepyhead, go back to bed. Not only will you be better rested, you’ll also eat fewer calories in the day. According to a study at Columbia University, people who got four hours of shut-eye a night ate 300 more calories a day, compared to those who banked nine hours of sleep each night. Women were more likely than men to overindulge, averaging 329 extra calories, compared with men’s 263.

Another study on the effects of diet and sleep found that drowsy dieters produced higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and slows down the body’s fat-burning mechanism. So not only are you famished and eating more when you’re sleep-deprived, you’re also burning less fat. That’s why you should do your waistline a favor and sleep in.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kindness and Honesty

"Where there is shouting,

there is no true knowledge. "

Leonardo da Vinci

Cultivating Happiness

The truth is that happiness is an attitude. It's not something created by outside circumstances, but instead is completely within your control. This means that you can be happy regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not. You can be happy regardless of whether your relationship is working out or not. If fact, if you cultivate happiness, your relationship will improve.
You will not get that deep sense of satisfaction and happiness you crave just by getting or improving a relationship.

Nothing will give you that sense of happiness, unless you cultivate it consciously.

The Dangers of Aspartame

According to research by Lynne Melcombe, author of Health Hazards of White Sugar, Aspartame is linked to the following health conditions: anxiety attacks; binge-eating and sugar cravings; birth defects; blindness; brain tumors; chest pain; depression; dizziness; epilepsy; fatigue; headaches and migraines; hearing loss; heart palpitations; hyperactivity; insomnia; joint pain; learning disabilities; PMS; muscle cramps; reproductive problems; and even death.
Aspartame’s effects can be mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy, Epstein-Barr virus, Huntington’s chorea, hypothyroidism, Lou Gehrig’s disease; Lyme disease, Ménière’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and postpolio syndrome.
Almost all "diet" soda contains Aspartame.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011




Untrustworthy Emotions

Be careful not to assume your emotions are trustworthy.
How you feel isn’t always a good indicator of how things are. Just because you feel it, that doesn’t make it true. Sometimes that emotion comes from nothing more profound than being tired, hungry, annoyed, or about to get a head-cold.
The future won’t change because you feel bad—nor because you feel great. Feelings may be true, but they aren’t the truth.

Benefits of Daily Walking

Setting a daily step goal can increase the amount of walking you do by a mile.
Clip on a pedometer for good health, and set a daily walking goal of 10,000 steps a day. Setting your intentions and tracking your progress can help you go the extra mile — literally! Using a pedometer is a great way to assess how much physical activity you’re getting, but it’s only half the story.

A review in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who established goals and kept a diary of their progress boosted their daily mileage the most, walking, on average, 2,649 extra steps. That’s just over a mile a day.
For heart health, make sure at least 30 minutes of those steps are taken at a moderately brisk pace. An easy way to tell if your pace is fast enough: aim for 100 steps per minute, or 3,000 steps in half an hour.

Monday, May 2, 2011


"Yesterday is ashes.
Tomorrow is green wood.
Only today does the fire burn brightly."

Eskimo Saying

Natural Endings

If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Like to catch up on your phone calls while driving? Forget about it. Only 2.5% of people can do both without being distracted.
Even if you’re on a hands-free cell phone, chatting with a friend while behind the wheel can seriously hamper your driving skills. According to research in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, only 2.5 percent of people can yap on their cell phone and drive without affecting their performance.

The reason: people cannot do two things at once. That’s why the term multi-tasking is, in fact, a bit of a misnomer, because what you’re really doing is switching your attention between tasks. Only this small fraction of the population, known as supertaskers, can tackle two jobs simultaneously.
Aging slows down the multitasking areas of the brain, so it can be especially risky for seniors to talk or text when behind the wheel. Be considerate to your friends (and the people you’re sharing the road with) and save your conversations for a time when you won’t be distracted.