Posts Tagged ‘attitude’

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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Posted in Miss Behavin', Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

What is love?

February 14th, 2018 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

What is love?
Sent from above
So alluring
With work, enduring

A gift of time
Smiling ray of sunshine
A passing glance
Simple romance

A soft touch
What you do says much
It’s understanding
Not demanding

A reservation
No consternation
Simplicity
Implicitly

Kind seeds sown
Good deeds unknown
Family and friend
Love to the end

Valentine
Roses and wine?
Show thy love
All the time

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Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Unapologetic Expert…Time to Speak UP

June 30th, 2017 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Canada Day is fast approaching, our 150th, no less. We Canadians are know for being polite, watching our p’s and q’s and for apologizing, “oops, sorry”. We are bombarded with an avalanche of misinformation almost everywhere we turn which has amped up over the decade… big sigh. Whether at the family table, the hair salon, social media or any sort of gathering with fellow humans, life feels like an information battlefield sometimes – one I prefer to retreat from.

Years ago when someone checked out alternative medicine as a last resort when everything else failed, I thought, “Why not, what harm could that do?” But fast forward to today and I know too many people who choose alternate therapies as their first line of treatment then bring in the “trained guns” – doctors, dietitians, for example – those of us who are registered professionals governed by a college to protect the public, when things goes south. Sadly many of us sit by in silence.

Case in point, I visited my neighbourhood salon recently. I asked a simple question “how are you?” and got a long and winding tale. Happy to be an ear, I heard about the plight of my stylist visiting a chiropractor for various ailments. I was told how this person tried various maneuvers, yada yada yada…. I was also told that before starting anything she had to sign a release form “in case I had a stroke or died”. Say what??!! Instead of sitting in silence I decided to politely weigh in. I asked whether her medical doctor requires her do the same thing and noted that if THEY did something wrong they could get their licence revoked, sued or charged. Then I asked “so why did you go in the first place?” and she told me “because it’s covered by my insurance”. Great big sigh.

Well my fellow experts, I say it’s time to break the silence and weigh in on such conversations. When everyone out there claims to be an expert, it’s time for the real experts speak up, unapologetically. You with me??

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Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie, Francy Rants, Nutrition News, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Calling All Canadians: March for Science, Stand UP for Evidence!

April 18th, 2017 No Comments Tags: , ,

Earth Day is fast approaching. It’s time to lace up and join in the March for Science on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Mark your calendar and spread the word.

As Archie-Bunker-in-Chief south of the border rounds out his first 100 days in office our Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad world has gone “mad-er”, sadly. We now live in an era with admitted “alternate facts” in a seemingly parallel universe. I’m not referring to a Sci-Fi flick but the daily news we use…big sigh…

Life threatening climate change is plaguing our world. Instead of instituting measures to help, with one signature, he drags coal out of the dark ages and back into the picture, what gives?! I wouldn’t be surprised if he ushered Gwyneth Paltrow, promoter of Goop into a key position in the White House. Good grief. The sad thing is we can’t change the channel, this is the new world disorder.

In times of despair, do something constructive and March! Join in won’t you? You don’t need to be a science geek to take part. But believe me, a science geek has made a difference to you or a loved one by their tireless work efforts, expertise and exactness, whatever their discipline. Activate your circles of influence to get involved, calling all Canadians:

  • Calling all teachers: address these modern day issues in your class and encourage your students to participate
  • Calling all health professionals: post a sign in your waiting area and motivate your patients to join in
  • Calling all fitness instructors: sway your clients to get involved this weekend
  • Calling all parents: rally all generations of your family to share in the opportunity to walk, wheel and weigh in
  • Calling all social media mavens: post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more using #ScienceMarch
  • Calling all artists: get crafty, make some signs and lend a hand!

It’s a perfect way to take a stand and a great way to get your daily steps in. Walk, tweet #ScienceMarch, donate, don’t let it pass you by. Bring a friend or ten. See you there!

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Posted in Francy Rants, Policy for the People, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

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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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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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »

Feel the Buzz…

April 29th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I was pondering that feeling of achievement when you reach a goal, hmmmm. This crossed my mind while hiking up a mountain. You know that feeling; that special buzz you get when you set a goal and reach it. Ahhh yes, nothing can be finer! You can’t find it in a store. It can’t be bottled and bestowed. It’s something you and only you earn and ultimately reap the benefits from.

I have a few favourite trails to hike in Kelowna, BC. A more challenging one for me is an elusive slog up Knox Mountain. This walk isn’t really that much out of the ordinary as I sit here writing, all relaxed and comfy with my feet up. The mountain is situated a mile away from my hideaway – up the street, around the corner, by the park beside the lake to its base. It looks more like a hill, from the bottom. Then begins a gradual incline for a steady 40 minutes or so. It always seems so easy standing at the bottom when I spy the apex, “ a piece of cake” I scoff, until the climb begins…

The road up twists, turns and teases at points where you can almost catch your breath as you amble. I try to stay in the moment, diverting my mind from muscle pain, trying to sense any breeze Mother Nature blows my way, listening for birds sounds while soldiering on. This day I hear a wood pecker make that electric drill sound that resonates through the forest. How I love that sound. My tummy grumbles and I think of potatoes. I am merely walking this trek after all, but as the top beckons I feel my body heat rise, my legs ache, sweating, panting, my mouth parched, wondering what on earth possessed me to do this. Then I reach it. Ahhhh, I’m there, at the top, heart pounding out of my chest, gasping for air, thinking how I’d very much enjoy a ride down the other side…. as if. The ascent was 266 meters. It’s difficulty is a far cry from towering Mount Cook or the Swiss Alps, after all. I catch my breath….

I make haste to begin the trek back. This time down a pebbly walking trail. It always seems like a faster route. “Who am I kidding?” pops in my head half way down, every time I make this decision. This steep, dry, rocky, dusty, walking trail snakes and curves, sometimes gradual and other times steep where at various points I get that “off the edge of the earth feel” where one slip will send me tumbling down the side, AHHH! Not a good feeling when you’re quietly afraid of heights. “What on earth were you thinking?” crosses my mind, again as I try to get my footing on solid ground, my arms flailing, looking like a surfer of sorts, more awkward like a penguin. May I remind you, that although I do exercise regularly and am a self proclaimed “move maven” I am not the least bit athletic. Like a holistic health care person saying they’re a nutritionist because they eat…. So while others around me seem to own the trail and look the part, I slip and slide and cuss until I descend the eventual 266 meters back to the base. Those muscles I used on the way up got a break while I tax another set on the way down.

Ahhh, I’m on flat ground, catch my breath, feel that pinging in my legs reminding me that they have not been used like this since my last mountain trek. They give me a scolding. The lake breeze cools me down as I fill up with that feeling of satisfaction of achieving yet another goal – a mountain walk – YES! I head back by the lake, past the park, down the street, then around the bend, to my hideaway. I press the “stop” button on my Apple Watch, recording the trek’s metrics. Then a “bing” sounds; an award pops up – a gold star: “You earned this award for the most calories burned on a walk, 427″. I smile, an extra bonus, double good! I think about my hike as I rehydrate before hitting the shower.

I scroll through the metrics:
Walk Time: 2:05:42
Distance: 10.09 km
Ascent: 266 meters
Calories: 427
Steps 16,204
Walking Workout Record – “You earned this award for the most calories burned on a walk, 427”

I’ll be returning to my hideaway in a few months. Hmmm, I think confidently, “surely I’ll walk this twice the next visit”. Why wouldn’t I? Until then……

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Week 5: Make Small Changes Stick this #NutritionMonth!

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

Lack of time, eating out, holidays, stress? We all have challenges that can sidetrack our healthy eating plans. Here are some strategies to help your small changes stick.

Planning how you’ll manage healthy-eating roadblocks before they happen is key to success.
Setbacks on a journey to healthier habits are a normal part of making changes. Knowing what some of your challenges are can help you be ready to deal with them. Get ready with a plan to manage detours:
• Think about what might get in your way of healthy eating.
• Brainstorm solutions to get around roadblocks.
• Put supportive strategies in place. Recruit family and friends to help on your path to a healthy you.
A slip in healthy eating habits is a learning opportunity. When it happens, review your plan, adjust as needed and get back on track.
For help staying motivated, get eaTracker at: www.eatracker.ca

Short on time? Be prepared with nourishing grab ‘n’ go foods, like yogurt, nuts and fruit.
Eating well doesn’t need to take a lot of time. A little planning helps you eat healthy, even on the run:
• Stock your kitchen with good-for-you snacks, like veggies, fruit, yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, seeds and whole grain crackers.
• Cook big batches of soup, stew or chili on weekends, then take a welcome cooking break on busy weekdays.
• Cook once. Eat twice. Make more food than you need for one meal and reinvent it for another.
• Shop for healthier convenience foods, such as frozen or pre-cut vegetables, plain frozen fish fillets, shredded cheese and canned lentils.

Stressed? Bored? Sad? Eating for reasons other than hunger can lead to mindless munching.
Do you ever find yourself eating, even when you’re not hungry? Do you eat when you are bored or distracted, like when watching TV? Do you eat to deal with stress or emotions? If so, you may be eating more than you think.
If you’re a mindless muncher, try putting these savvy strategies in place:
• Reduce boredom, sadness or stress by taking a brisk walk instead of nibbling.
• Eat mindfully. Don’t eat distracted. Make mealtimes screen-free, eat away from your desk and don’t snack while watching TV.

Menu minefield! Check restaurant nutrition info online to make better choices.
Eating out healthy can be challenging when faced with big portions, too few vegetables, indulgent desserts and too much fat, sugar and salt. Make better choices with these tips:
• Choose small or half-portions or save part of a big entrée for another meal.
• Ask for extra veggies on your wrap, pizza or burger. Replace white rice or pasta side dishes with steamed veggies.
• Ask for dressings and sauces on the side and add just enough for flavour.
• Love dessert? Go mini or get one dessert and several forks so you can share the great taste.

A dietitian can help you to get back on healthy-eating track! To find a dietitian in your area, visit www.dietitian.ca/find.

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: www.nutritionmonth2016.ca

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Press the re-Start Button…

February 4th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

It seems as if I blinked and February rolled in. How are your New Year’s resolutions progressing? Have they morphed from intention to action? Sometimes life’s commitments get in the way of progress, but today is as good as any day to press the re-start button. Reframe your thinking by considering these ideas:

Just for Today – Shift your focus and work on your goal “just for today”. Eat just a little better and find opportunities to stand and move a little more, more often. Sometimes we psych ourselves out wanting a mountain of change by next month, next season, next birthday and more. By keeping your head in today, those goals will come to fruition down the road.

The Weigh In – Early in January, Dr. Brian Wansink reported on the importance of weighing in throughout the weeks post holiday noshing. Like I always say “awareness is bliss” and the scale never lies. I have taken heed of this advise and weigh ins have served as a reminder to nip the nosh-fest in the bud.

Work in Intervals - Time can be on your side when you find 5 minutes here, or 15 minutes there to move more. Forget about finding a full hour or more if you have been out of any activity routine. You can more easily add up these intervals to 30 – 60 minutes by sneaking your moves in. You may eventually feel so good you may schedule in more activity to move, to destress and energize yourself!

Plan a Small Change – Next month (March) is Nutrition Month. The theme is “Take a 100 meal journey. Make a small change one meal at a time.” While you’re working on doing just a little bit better, join in starting February 23, 2016 and Take the Pledge. While you’re at it find ideas, follow the weekly topics throughout March from “Get Ready!” “Quality Counts!” “Prioritize Portion Size!” “Try Something New!” to “Make it Stick!”

Instead of life getting in the way of your goals, let your goals get integrated in your life little by little by taking the first step.

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »