Archive for the ‘Miss Behavin'’ Category

Musings about your personal brand

April 9th, 2018 No Comments Tags: , ,

A lot has been written on developing your personal brand. Whether you agree with this notion or not, everyone has one. This isn’t only reserved for corporations.

My professional association, Dietitians of Canada is undergoing a ‘dietitian branding’ exercise. This is a topic that intrigues me not only for my profession as a collective but what this means to each and every one of its foot soldiers. Let’s ponder this more deeply, hmmmmm.

Only one chance folks…There’s a lot of wisdom in the saying “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Think about it. Recall the last 2 total strangers you brushed shoulders with who exuded a positive image and one who projected a negative one? Jot down qualities and observations you perceived for each of these people: Did they seem happy, confident, funny, smart, witty, polite, disorganized, reliable, honest? Recall details on their posture, neatness, polish, professionalism. Whether it’s right or wrong we pass judgement about people we don’t even know every single day.

Mirror mirror on the wall…. Now reflect on what impression you project to the world. Attempt to stand outside of yourself and peer down with that same judgmental eye. Avoid stopping this exercise and scoffing – ‘well I’m a student, at this point in my life this doesn’t pertain to me’ or ‘I like to buck trends and be my own person’ or ‘I prefer people get to know me for who I am on the inside and not judge me by my outer appearance’. Indulge me and create your list.

Role Models Now, who do you admire? What are their qualities? What is the image they project? Complete the same list for these folks.

My Mom and Grandma always looked polished and presentable and always dressed age appropriately. Any one of my 3 sisters and me would hear a “you’re not going out looking like THAT are you?” from my Mom if we didn’t meet her standard. It wasn’t about being ‘fancy-shmancy’ it was about being presentable.

How do you want to be perceived? What impression do you want to make on the world? Compare that with your current observations and compare it to your role models. Do they match up or are there measures you can take to close the gap?

Define it and refine it! Attention to detail is the name of the game. Although the old adage ‘the clothes make the (wo)man’ might hold some truth, you don’t need to break the bank or even spend one red cent to make change. It can be as easy as starting with 1, 2, 3: good posture, a smile and direct eye contact.

Is your ‘go to’ outfit taken from a pile of clothes on your bedroom floor? Do you hide behind your hairstyle which hasn’t been cut for months? What is your footwear ‘go to’? I have wandered through airports, university campuses, hospitals and offices to see employees sporting tights or PJ’s instead of trousers, scuffing in slippers or flip-flops instead of appropriate footwear topped off with unbrushed hair as a ‘crowning glory’. And don’t get me started with pop tops, tank tops and seeing too much of the skin you’re in…. What if you bumped into someone who was about to interview you? That first impression would not elicit a call back, let alone an interview.

I remember attending a talk decades ago on this very subject and found it eye-opening. The speaker got me thinking about how to project my best self every day. A perfect place to start is taking a look at yourself in the mirror before you head out the door. Is you hair brushed? Is your neck line and skirt length congruent with office policy? Are there spills, stains or tears? I usually find when someone asks the question “does this look ok?” usually the answer is ‘no’. I can hear my Mom saying “you’re NOT going out looking like THAT are you?” Keep it real folks!

Fast forward to today and the same fundamentals apply. It’s not about following expensive trends from getting fake eyelashes, spending hours on make up or donning Chanel’s latest and greatest. It’s about choosing clothes that fit, wearing colours and styles that suit you in your chosen industry that’s updated as you age, ensuring you have that 1, 2, 3 noted above covered. Attention to detail continues to be key.

But wait, what? You might want to emulate your cool, eccentric professor who pays little attention to their physical being. That’s fine and good, but ask them about how their brand evolved as they climbed the “stairway to genius heaven”. I’ll bet they payed attention to some of these unspoken rules along the way. When you achieve super genius status, go ahead and wear what you want.

You’re not exempt by human nature’s rules…I sometimes wish I had a ‘cloaking device’ like the Kling-on’s on Star Trek when I’m not feeling my best. But life doesn’t work like that. Whether you care or not you DO make a first impression out in the real world every dang day. Is your everyday demeanour and presentation what you want people to see? If you want to project polish and professionalism decide what that means to you then make a few goals to achieve it.

Brand extension applies to your on-line presence... This day and age our on-line personas exude who we are as well, so an evaluation of what you project on each platform you ascribe to would be wise too.

911 to the rescue... You can find oodles of tips, tricks and advice on-line. If you want to polish up on your public speaking consider enrolling in a Toast Master’s course. You may also wish get advice from a real life coach. Perhaps treat your favourite role model for coffee and pick their brain on the subject.

I truly wish our world judged people for what’s on the inside. Maybe some day there’ll be a meter we can lodge on our forehead indicating what we want to project be it smarts, savvy, kindness, loyalty, diligence, or whatever. But until then first impressions still rules. The bottom line is, be honest with yourself, only you will benefit from self evaluation.

How does your personal brand measure up? Food for thought, that’s for sure….
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Keep the Olympic flame burning!

February 21st, 2018 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

There’s nothing I don’t love about the Olympics. Even though I am a self proclaimed tortoise I get pumped watching athletes perform their craft. Further, faster, stronger, better are all goals we can all relate to and strive for in our own lives.

Olympians go for gusto. They are certainly not fair-weather participants. They push through barriers we mere mortals can barely fathom to improve their time, pass their competitor or land that jump without wavering.

I won’t be joining an olympic team any time soon because tortoises don’t qualify. I will however be more mindful of how I can do my body right one baby step at a time. Maybe I’ll take an extra stroll in the day; perhaps I’ll dial down on second helpings; how about getting down on my mat an extra day or two in the week to tighten my core or make my lunch more often.

Winter is a perfect time of year to take it up a notch to rethink your goals to get in shape for when spring is sprung! If your get up and go got up and went, time to find it and get in gear, don’t you think? Why just watch sports when you can add some new moves to your repertoire and get active!

Consider jumpstarting your heart if you’ve been in a slump lately. Plan on extending your efforts to all of the seasons of the year, taking each day as it comes. As long as I’m able to move one foot in front of the other, I am committed to continue my ‘movement movement‘. How about you?

Keep the Flame Alive!
Well it’s life back to normal
The Games are almost a wrap
After McMorris’ story
I walked another lap

Got to thinking about what
This all means in my life
Triple flips and double sow cows
Being active doesn’t need to create strife

The lycra and spandex
Never looked this darn good! (mainly on Olympians!)
Treating body as temple
Is something we should

For we mere earth mortals
Making a goal is a start
To move our bodies, as it was meant
I so very smart

Start a ‘movement movement’
Rise up off the couch
Oh ye young and old
Finding 30-60 minutes, isn’t that much

You’ll feel better and toned
Energetic and shvelt
Your hourglass figure
Might warrant a belt!

Keep that flame alive everyday
Whether it’s gleaming or dim
And do yourself a favour
Press ‘start’ and begin!

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Vanity UN-fair

January 19th, 2018 No Comments
I have been preparing a ‘Tee Talk’ presentation for Markland Wood Golf Club patrons. It got me thinking about questions I may get asked. I plan to address controllable risk factors in the introduction but I’m sure people will be especially interested in food and nutrition measures to stay ‘forever young’. Being north of 50 this is top of mind for me as well.

There’s rarely a week that goes by that we don’t hear about magical elixirs, tablets, lotions and potions for anti-aging – that “Genie in a Bottle” with a premium price tag with false promises. I love Tim Caulfield’s series “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” and his book “Is Gwennth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? (spoiler alert: yes she is!) where he exposes the ugly side of the evidence-free beauty industry preying on your vanity while thinning your wallet.

When I think more deeply about anti-aging from a nutrition perspective what’s most important is working on your bodacious body from the inside, rather than simply covering up flaws on the outside. Think about it folks. There are an array of controllable risk factors that inherently promote youth without the fanfare although working on them is certainly aspirational. These include not smoking, being active (and sitting less), eating healthy, managing alcohol, sleeping enough and managing stress.

In December the Heart & Stroke Foundation released a study showing that Canadians consume almost 50% of their energy from ultra-processed foods, big sigh. How on earth can anyone expect to find the fountain of youth at the bottom of a bag of Doritos? You simply cannot. Moreover, adding a daily serving of any superfood will not optimally protect you if you regularly smoke, consume excess junk and alcohol and more. Catch my drift?

I broke off my relationship with those special products, magical lotion and skin elixirs. Hasta la vista, baby; my face hasn’t cracked yet!

Forget about turning your life on it’s head by trying the new keto-craze, going ‘clean’ or paleo. Work on the inside by enjoying nourishing whole foods, dialling down on ‘happy hour’, moving and chilling more and at the end of the day get your zzzzzz’s.

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More Mother Nature Please…

December 30th, 2017 No Comments
While taking a walk on a snowy December day I pondered what to focus on in the coming year. Gone are the days of those New Year’s Resolutions that start with a sizzle and fizzle before the month ends. With fluttering snowflakes on my eyelashes and the whistling wind gusting through, I thought ‘AHA’ let’s get more Mother Nature in our days all the year through. Consider this:

Plants on Your Plate – If you haven’t tried dishing up half your plate with fruits and veggies every day, this is a perfect place to start. You can also include more of Mother Nature’s bounty like beans, peas and lentils in your repertoire too. Forget spending north of $100/ounce on magical anti aging cream to help you find the fountain of youth. Work on your inside instead. More plants will help you glow plus benefit your brain, your digestion and satiety. A healthy and stealthy strategy indeed!

Fuel with Nuts & Seeds – Gone are the tummy rumbling low fat days (thank goodness). Embrace the nutrient richness of nuts and seeds. They too come from Mother Earth and are great to nibble on salt free and roasted as snacks, in salads or stir fries.

Walk with Mother Nature – Get outside and play no matter what drama the weather station is dishing up. We are Canadian, eh?! Bundle up and find a path to meander along. Walking 30 minutes each day helps you inside and out, from head to toe, boosting your mood, helping you sleep, managing stress and refreshing your outlook. Who needs a trainer when Mother Nature can be your guide!

Acquaint Yourself with Mother Earth – It’s a big world out there, so plan a trip or excursion near or far on our grand planet. There are new customs to learn, languages to hear, cuisine to try, currencies to spend, wine to sip to enrich your perspective and embrace differences.

Support Mother Nature with Science – As the saying goes, “You can’t fool Mother Nature!” meaning she follows the laws of science whether you like it or not. So whatever you do or try this year, make sure it’s seeped in science because being a biological being your bodacious body depends on it – Don’t mess with the machine!

You can’t go wrong if your New Year focuses to get more of what Mother Nature has to offer in your life. Choose it. Embrace it. Prefer it. Respect it. Thrive with it.

Upward and onward from here!

 

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2017 Twelve Days of Christmas Remix

December 10th, 2017 No Comments

Hem hem hem…. Ok my cherished T & T followers. 2018 is almost upon us while the Christmas season is in full swing! Let’s sing along from the same proverbial song-sheet to get through to the New Year singing, fa la la la la, la la la la?

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

One Drummer Drumming – Marching to the beat of your own drum by being true to yourself is a perfect way to close out this year and start fresh the next. “To thy own self be true.”

Two Little Snacks – Keeping your hunger at bay will really help you from feeling ravenous which could result in over indulging.

Three Protein Servings – Having a regular eating routine with a small protein serving at each meal helps kick hunger to the curb.

Four Small Plates – Keeping your eyes on your serving size by using smaller plates can help you eat less over the holidays and everyday!

Five Comeback Lines – Prepare yourself with how you’re going to deal with food pushing saboteurs. Take the high road with a polite reply and HO HO HOld the attitude!

Six Times a Movin’ – Keeping regularly active (at least six, five-10 minute intervals of moving daily) and even taking it up a notch this time of year to offset any extra nibbling will help you burn any extra calories, keep on track, feel fit and even ease stress.

Seven Beauty Sleeps – Getting enough zzzzz’s helps with appetite control and allows you to be more productive. Nitey nite.

Eight Friends to Visit – Make an extra effort to reconnect with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. Give yourself the gift of personal connectedness.

Nine Ladies Dancing – Rocking around the clock at your Christmas party like it’s 1999 will help you burn-baby-burn 276 calories an hour!

Ten Fruit & Veg – Eating your quota of these puppies everyday will help fill you up and ease those extras out because you’re simply feeling full. Poof, like magic!

Eleven Quiet Moments – Let stress flow away when you find quiet times to ponder life and all it’s wonders. Ummmmmm.

Twelve Times a Standin’ – Close all of your rings on your Apple Watch to combat ‘sitting disease’. “Time to stand up!”

Ok folks, if you follow this beat for the coming weeks you’ll be in better shape and feeling extra cheer by New Year for a happy Ho! Ho! Ho!, not a sour OH! OH! OH!

God bless us every one!

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Tails of Trails

June 4th, 2017 No Comments Tags: , ,

I have been having meandering thoughts while on meandering walks of late. June 4th marks #NationalHealth & Fitness Day so I felt it was a fitting day to feature this. Let’s keep in mind though that ANY day is perfect to start your own “movement movement” and pay attention to your health and fitness!

Exercise and activity provide a whole lot of benefits. For starters there’s an endorphin boost which can provide that “runner’s high” and lift your mood, decrease stress, ward off depression, boost self esteem while improving sleep to name a few. Fit in moves you enjoy so you will vamoose your caboose more often!

Over the past year I have been lucky to wander along some enthralling paths from Cinque Terre, Italy then Sagres Portugal, then Malta trails to scaling up Table Mountain in Cape Town and then back in Kelowna trekking the Mission Creek Greenway, Kalamoir Park, Paul’s Tomb trail, Myra Canyon trestles and up Mt. Knox – phew. When I reflect on my progress or lack thereof I continue to be a self proclaimed tortoise. It really isn’t getting any easier. I have won no prizes, received no fan fare and at times had my Apple Watch not register the full extent of my moves. Despite that I go forth!

I have had my share of bonding with Mother Nature when walking these picturesque trails. I love how your thoughts get lost in Mother Nature’s glory feeling sand between your toes, admiring lovely wildflowers as the pollen tickles your nose, get shaded by towering pines, inspired by a soaring eagle, feel the power of a river’s rushing water. On this fine day I had a chuckle after hearing a sassy quail’s mocking call outing this city girl as I struggled to catch my breath.

As I rang in the New Year I professed my word of the year to be robust and I stand by that. I decide where my walk will lead me today. With robustness in mind I will snake up a trail even if the incline is a few kilometres up, up and up; boot me to get my weights lifted and mat routine finished; assist me to improve my balance and assist me to overcome my fear of heights.

If activity hasn’t edged into your calendar lately, evaluate how you can find 15 minute here and another there. Surely you can schedule it in. Our bodacious bodies were meant to move! Get your masterful machine moving more often throughout the day each and every day – walk, mosey, sache, samba, climb, dance, shimmy, jog, saunter, run….. Do it for someone who cannot, but do it. There’s really no excuse not to!

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My word for 2017 is ….

January 3rd, 2017 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have done a lot of soul searching this holiday season. As per my usual routine, I drafted a few New Year’s type blog posts. None have seen the light of day as they didn’t quite hit the mark for how I’ve been feeling lately. I have been inspired by what some people have chosen as “their key word” for 2017 though. That got me thinking more deeply, hmmmm.

Although I have written a lot this past year, I have not posted much. Various family members have been experiencing their share of challenges, so my usual musings about food and nutrition didn’t quite feel right to post about in the grand scheme of things.

I did host a pre-Christmas get together with one of my sisters. I connected up with my many aunts to meet our new great nephew – Russel. I reflected on this get-together with awe about how lucky I am to have so many amazing women who are fabulous role models in my life in addition to my own Mom and Mom-in-law. Each has soldiered through their fair share of life’s challenges without the helicopter-type safety nets many young folks possess today. Yet each show up with smiles, love and enthusiasm, like always.

I am out at my hide-away as I write this and have been taking in the brisk winter outdoors with deeper reflection. On New Year’s Day I took the trek up snowy Knox Mountain. It’s is a love-hate thing – love it when I’m done and hate it while I’m trudging up…. a perfect way to contemplate life….

As I plodded along, it came to me: ROBUST!

  • This word sums up what my Moms and aunties have shown in their rich lives as they take on the world.
  • This explains the gumption you need to face an extreme challenge with courage, grit and a smile.
  • It goes deeper than merely “shaking a leg” in life, but losing one and making the best of it.
  • It’s what you need to break out of your routine and follow your dream.
  • It’s not spinning the yarn of mundane pettiness of the status quo, yet implies vitality & vigor, toughness & sturdiness, health & enthusiasm, to make a difference. Yes robust is my word this 2017.

May this word have meaning for you as you grab 2017 by the horns: Go forth and be ROBUST!

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The 12 Days of Christmas Remix

December 5th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Hem hem hem…. Ok my cherished T & T followers. Another year is zipping by and the Christmas season is in full swing! Let’s sing along from the same proverbial song-sheet to get through to the other end the same jean size, shall we?

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

One Daily BreakfastSuccessful losers say and research shows it’s the most important meal of the day. Don’t miss it!

Two Little SnacksKeeping your hunger at bay will really help you from feeling ravenous and overeating.

Three Square MealsHaving a regular eating routine with balanced meals helps you fire on all cylinders while kicking hunger to the curb. Remember that hunger management project you started in November?

Four Small PlatesKeeping your eyes on your serving size by using smaller plates is an easy way to help you eat less over the holidays and everyday!

Five Quiet MomentsLet stress flow away when you find quiet times to ponder life and all it’s wonders. Ummmmmm.

Six Times a Movin’Keeping regularly active (at least six, five minute intervals of moving daily) and even taking it up a notch this time of year to offset any extra nibbling will help you burn any extra calories, keep on track, feel fit and even ease stress.

Seven Beauty SleepsGetting enough zzzzz’s helps with appetite control and allows you to be more productive. Nitey nite.

Eight Mugs a Chuggin’Always keep that water goblet of life half full and by your side. Sip, sip, sip to my Lou throughout the day to stay well hydrated. Infuse your water with fresh mint, zesty citrus or frozen berries. Bottoms UP!

Nine Ladies DancingRocking around the clock at your Christmas party like it’s 1999 will help you burn baby burn 276 calories an hour!! Bye bye extra serving of Christmas trifle calories…..

Ten Fruit & VegEating your quota of these puppies everyday will help fill you up and ease those extras out because you’re simply feeling full. Poof, like magic!

Eleven Saboteurs to Deal WithPrepare yourself with how you’re going to deal with food pushing saboteurs. Take the high road with a polite “no thank you” and HO HO HOld the attitude!

Twelve Drummers Drummin’ Marching to the beat of your own drum puts you in the dietary drivers seat. Stick with it soul sister, you’ll be glad you did!

Ok folks, if you follow this beat for the coming weeks you’ll be in good shape and feeling extra cheer by New Year. Equip yourself with my e-book for more healthy and stealthy tips for 2017.

God bless us every one!

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Want to reframe? Make a small change!

November 25th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I have written many times that it’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad world. Last season it was BREXIT, this season the Gong Show to the south….. Somehow it feels like it’s the end of the world, good grief. Quite serendipitously, I was hanging out in the Algarve, Portugal where centuries ago it was believed that the world was flat. I stood near that very edge, hmmmm.

Alas, I decided to crawl out from under the bed and face the world again. Sometimes when you feel there is little you can control, taking charge even in a small way can be uplifting. We’re staring down yet another Christmas season, followed by New Years resolution time. I say get back to that 100 Meal Journey started this past March and make a little change for the better. Are you with me?

Truth be told, I was so enthusiastic about the whole 100 Meal Journey concept that as March meandered to April, May, June with a fast forward to today the cumulative changes made have me feeling better, more energized and in better shape. Consider these ideas:

Be Adventurous
Who doesn’t love an adventure let alone someone who is adventurous? Gear up to trying something new.  Try a new recipe, such as Tangine cooking or this savoury tomato soup served with gourmet grilled cheese. How about some yummy satisfying salads to enjoy for lunch instead of fast food. Check out even more ideas.

Seal it with a KISS – better Hunger Management
Keep it simple, sweetie! Start by managing your hunger better. NO you are not going to start a diet – coconut water, eating raw or a cleanse are NOT what’s on tap now or ever. Avert your thoughts from dieting for good!
1) More Protein & Fibre at Meals – Instead of taking away food which will make you hungry, add in satisfying choices that help manage hunger optimally and make you feel fuller longer. Work in more dairy products at meals or snacks. Add nuts and/or seeds to salads. Use dinner leftovers of meat, fish or chicken in lunches in wraps or sandwiches. Include eggs as a powerhouse of protein. Up the ante on using more pulses like chick peas or lentils and choose whole grains more often.

2) Slow Down Your Eating Pace – Doing the “whoa horsey” by slowing down, tasting and enjoying food is essential. Experiencing the feeling of fullness and stopping when you begin to feel satisfied, instead of eating like a buzz saw will help you eat less almost effortlessly.

3) Strategic Snacking – If you find you’re usually ravenous at mealtime, work in a small snack or two each day in-between meal to help take the edge off. Managing your hunger more strategically will help you slow down your pace too. Forget the vending machine and choose a fresh fruit, some cut up veggies or have a handful of unsalted nuts as your perfect go-to snack.

Awareness is Bliss
Time for a reality check! Get back to facing the scale and weighing yourself regularly. Then make a routine of checking the number a few times each week. Awareness (not ignorance) is bliss!

Remember folks, one month meanders into another, then seasons come and go. We’re staring down another new year. Take it easy on yourself and embrace a small change for the next 100 meals to a healthier you. Today is a perfect day to press the re-start button!

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Scan for Solutions: Nutrition Facts for Chain Restaurant Food

June 23rd, 2016 No Comments

The pendulum has swung from consumers eating at home most of the time to eating out of the home more. I recently read that Americans are spending more on restaurants than groceries, big sigh. Back in the day eating out was considered an occasional treat. Fast forward to today and it has become a regular part of people’s eating routine. I was taking a stroll before dinner recently and heard one young girl call to her neighbour to “come outside and play’. She was met with the response, “No I need to go inside, we’re ordering dinner!” OUCH. Welcome to 2016 I guess. Time for a moment of silence…

Anyone who follows T & T will recall my stand on this issue. Some may even call me a broken record (or worse)…. All I want is for consumers to have access to the same food offering nutrition info that packaged foods provide with the nutrition facts panel. Knowledge is power and people do better when they know better. Here are a few of my posts:

I can relate though. Although I value eating nourishing home-prepared food regularly, I’ll confess that I travel a lot and consume my fair share of restaurant meals. Because of the frequency of eating out, it isn’t necessarily an indulgent treat. I aim to eat as healthfully as I can, trading off and making better choices. I’m lucky that I have a degree in nutrition and am a registered dietitian. Consumers don’t have this luxury. It is helpful that people who actively want to know what’s in their food have been used to accessing the nutrition facts panel when grocery shopping for well over a decade now.

Half of Canadians over the age of 20 live with a chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease and four out of five are at risk, with diet and lifestyle being major factors. Now that people are eating out more now than ever it’s time to reconsider making this info – and not only calories – available for consumers.

We also live in an era with technological advances up the wazoo. I can now pay for a quart of milk with my Apple Watch for goodness sake. So when I hear the chain restaurant industry drag their feet and exclaim how they would only confuse consumers by providing the nutritional profile of their offerings I say “bupkis”! Of course you can’t display a nutrition facts panel on a jammed menu board, but with human ingenuity there are certainly viable solutions.

I was in a small fishing town in Italy in May and enjoyed dinner at a tiny restaurant. On each table a scan icon similar to this image was burned in the wood that accessed their website. Upon scanning it, I had an AHA moment: Perhaps scan technology can be available for people to view chain restaurant food offerings before they get in line to order!

Not only are people spending more of their money on eating out, they have health conditions which can be helped by better nutrition. When this info – especially the astronomically negative content is central in the public eye, the offerings will be reformulated. Yes another reason to mandate this info be available.

Come on folks, it’s 2016 – certainly there are solutions for making nutrient profiles available and accessible to consumers. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

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