Posts Tagged ‘flow’

Take Me to Your Leader, a Father’s Day Tribute

June 19th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I did some reminiscing about my Dad lately with Father’s Day right around the corner. He’s been such a positive force and stellar role model for me. This applies to all aspects of my life, but of course I’ll focus on the health related part, mostly. It’s a good time to toot his horn and turn the spotlight on my family’s silent soldier. He’s a silent soldier in part due to living in a household with 5 women who barely allowed him to get a word in edgewise…. When I hear about the importance of various family factors resulting in positive health outcomes for kids, it warms my heart to know how lucky I’ve been.

Family MealtimesHe knew about prioritizing what was important in life despite being a busy accountant (and still does). We consistently ate meals together as a family – breakfast and dinner. Fathers can play a very important role in the health of their family by scheduling work accordingly. It was our time to eat a home cooked meal together, catch up on our day and connect.

Family Activities – We learned activities we can all do together – tennis, swimming, badminton and made time to do them.

Leading by Example – He is a master time compartmentalizer even when work was super crazy. He had a very busy job yet always made time for physical activity. He was in good shape and used to jog a few miles a day and play squash. My sister and I took up jogging too, following his lead. We figured if He can do it, we can too!

Showing Tough Love, Setting Limits as a United Front – My Mom and Dad always worked as a team and he supported my Mom with the limit setting. They weren’t our best friends, they were our parents and secure enough not to cross that line.

Encouragement with a Reality Check – My Dad encouraged us to be the best we could be in whatever we chose to do in life. He didn’t flower up reality and would give you the straight goods when you needed it. He expected we get part time jobs and work, save money and pay for what we could. We learned the value of a dollar and not to spend what we didn’t have. All important life skills.

What does all of this have to do with eating and lifestyle… well, everything??!! When your life is properly balanced, wisely prioritized with good examples to follow it’s easier to make sound decisions. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book reflects how my Dad conducted his life naturally.

Thank you Dad for being such an amazing father and role model to me. I kept the family name as a testament of my pride for what you built on our branch of the family tree. You’re the best and I love you bushels full!

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If you don’t use it….

May 20th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Oh for the love of spring activities. I found myself moseying down to the centre of town in Kelowna, BC recently. A mile in any direction sports about from beach volley ball, mountain or trail walking, running, biking, paddling, swimming, golfing – you name it, people of all ages were doing it! Seeing so many “movers and shakers” participating in their own “movement movement” inspired me. My heart smiled as I passed through.

I too was a runner many decades ago. Well a jogger, really. I participated in a multitude of 10 kilometre (10k) fun runs and a couple of 20ks. That’s the extent of me actually doing a marathon – adding smaller races together to equal one big one. I would aim to beat my personal best time. I usually ended up in the last quarter of the group. Truly though, I’m not very athletic, not flexible enough to touch my toes on the first try, not really strong with my spaghetti arms as appendages. Nonetheless, I move, I stretch, I lunge, I burpee and I lift weights. I’m more like a tortoise, using the slow and steady strategy to win the race – my race.

When I took up jogging in my “big-boned” teen years, I distinctly remember that first time out. My Dad mapped a one-mile route to get me started. What I thought would be a cinch in the car felt like a one-mile marathon on the street – feet pounding, thighs rubbing, sucking in wind with a sharp stitch in my side. Am I there yet? What, another block to go? Oh the pain!

Being a hard-headed Italian, I was too proud to stop. As the weeks passed during those early stages, jogging that one-mile became easier. Soon, I yearned to do two miles then three, then four…

Jogging taught me the importance of setting goals and the euphoric sense of accomplishment when I reached them. It’s symbolic for any goal you make in life. If you are standing at the starting line of a marathon-long type challenge, break it down into blocks and tackle one block at a time. In time you’ll be meeting personal goals that add up to significant change over time and will stick with you for good.

My exercise regimen has morphed through the decades. I used to jog; now I walk. Whether you’re an iron-woman Viking or someone content with walking, the important thing is that you do something, anything. Our bodies were meant to move; we’re meant to run, walk, jump, dance, ski, rollerblade, swim and saunter, although some better than others. Neighbourhood malls are safe-haven walking trails for fair weather types. If you haven’t already done so, join in. There really isn’t any excuse not to participate especially this time of year. Because at the end of the day, it’s true: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Family Table

April 22nd, 2015 4 Comments Tags: , , ,

I’ve been thinking about the importance of the family table lately, hmmmm. A lot is learned there believe it or not. It’s so simple really – it’s an assembly of furniture – table and chairs, usually an overhead light. But set that table, put on some background music and arrange the food, family and friends and you’ve created a dynamic place that’s wonderfully complex.

It’s a time to break bread, literally or figuratively. A time to focus on what’s important. Fill up on food and stories – old and new. Nothing like rehashing the old hash for the umteenth time…

I remember when I was young having dinner at my Grandma’s house on Sevenoaks. Everyone was always welcome. My Mom upheld that same tradition when on some Sunday’s we’d keep making more room, extending the table further for people who were welcome at our family table. My Ukrainian Connection enjoys the same pleasure with many memories at their family table. I love that table scene on The Grinch Who Stole Christmas because it reminds me of the many fond memories of family gatherings around our family table – now at my home, still at my Mom’s, Mother Dearest’s, sisters’ too and of course my Uncle Jay’s…

I was reflecting more deeply about what I have learned through the years:

  • Keep the peace at the family table
  • Share a piece at the family table
  • Make conversation at the family table
  • Try something new at the family table
  • Pitch in around the family table
  • Learn to listen at the family table
  • Show appreciation to the hostess and host at the family table
  • Welcome everyone around the family table

You know there’s a slew of literature touting the benefits of the “family meal” for kids, linking the following which is so compelling (adapted from Dietitians of Canada, Nutrition Month 2014 material):

  • Improved food choices
  • Better nutrient intakes
  • Healthier weights
  • Reduced risk for eating disorders
  • Better social adjustment; and,
  • Improved school performance

If your schedule has gotten the better of you where this family tradition has slipped away you might want to slip it right back into your routine. Make it a priority. I don’t know about you, but after a busy day I need to “find my center”. Well it’s easily found by breaking bread together around the family table.

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Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | 4 Comments »

Spring Shake UP!

April 8th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spring has sprung despite Mother Nature not getting the memo! It’s time to awaken from that winter slumber and shift gears. It’s time to change that winter tire that is situated in your mid-drift and shake up your routine!

Wake UP – Let’s work on getting all of the zzz’s you need this spring and onward. Not getting enough sleep because you’re burning the candle at both ends isn’t good for health and well being along with your weight.

Shake UP – Do some hippy hippy shake and work in new moves throughout the day as you build up your interval training… working in 15 minutes of moving at least two times a day. If you’re a chronic sitter, work in a few more to get your blood flowing, muscles working to refresh yourself.

Make UP – Kiss and make up with your past food foibles adopted during winter hibernation. You have a new slate of possibilities. Instead of beating yourself up, lift yourself up.

Bake UP – Cook yourself up a healthy and stealthy scheme with ideas from my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books. A good spring cleaning is warranted and best started by purging those pillow sacks of junk food and replacing them with a rainbow of produce grown by Mother Nature herself.

Break UP – Nix that negativity of the dark side where excuses dwell like a cesspool of doom. Lighten up and replace negative self talk with prose of kindness to stoke your motivation.

Take UP – Tighten the screws on your eating behaviour such as slowing down your eating pace while actually tasting your food and enjoying it to the max. Drop the caveman routine and use utensils and a plate, sitting down every time you eat to savour the flavour of your food. These are two essential behaviours that’ll help you get results STAT.

Put a spring in your step with a mini shake up of your repertoire to shift you in a positive direction.

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Shades of Grey 5 Ways

February 11th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We live in a world filled with shades of grey. I assume you can create your own steamy 50 Shades of Grey sequel for Valentine’s without advice from this square RD! It is good, however, to learn to manage life in the grey zone on many fronts. The world of food and nutrition is no different, there are numerous “grey zone” issues to make sense of. So here you go a compilation of food and nutrition grey zone issues. Some food for thought to help build your love affair with food and activity. Enjoy!

Thinking of trying a diet? Put it to my Thanksgiving Dinner Test - Want to know what I think of any diet plan you’re contemplating? Put it through my simple test to see if it passes, if it doesn’t don’t give it another thought. Save your effort and money.

What’s so super about “super food” you ask? – What’s the “food jag du jour”? Is quinoa still in or is it barley? Should I awash myself with droplets of hallowed vitamin water…drip, drop, drip? Does an apple a day still keep the doctor away? Let’s get to the bottom of what’s really super, shall we!

Enjoy Maxing Out Nutrient Richness – Get real with your food. Now is a perfect time to up the natural nutrient richness in your diet. Calorie counting is SOOOO yesterday. Put the abacus away already! Fill yourself up with natural goodness containing more nutrients. Your body will smile back at you when you do!

Keeping Your Activity Routine Flexible – So much has been written about staying limber. Even more needs to written on how to keep our activity routines fluid and flexible to help us keep active every season, on busy work days, on fun holidays, when the sun’s shining or when snow is pelting. I know one thing for sure, KEEP MOVING and while you’re at it, make it a double (2 times a day!)

Grey Zone on Bad Food, Good Food & Piglets - One of my readers outed her “ice cream lovin’” Dad a while back. So I tried to set the record straight. Now I have a regular reader, guess which one?

So there you have it folks, a smattering of grey zone food and nutrition issues to mull over during this month that’s been very grey of late. There is beauty in grey, so embrace it. Once you learn to manage in that zone, you’ll know how to spot garbage when you read it and will be sailing right along…upward and onward ho!
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Endorphins: Mother Nature’s Blue Monday Boost

January 26th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have been doing quite a bit of blogging about ways to get and stay motivated this fine January. Many people take on the New Year and make a list of “what NOT to do from this day forward”. I say we should fill up our life and find ways to boost our motivation and spirits daily even on the coldest, cloudiest day. They say that the last Monday in January is the bleakest of the year. Say what? Time to tune your attitude in and work in ways to feel good, naturally.

We may live in a material world, but you can rely on the deep mysteries of your own body to lift your spirits. A special secret lies in the realities of endorphins, ahhh. It’s touted as the brain’s “feel good” chemical. Why not find ways to release more every day of the year? Flood your senses and listen UP!

Say Ommmmmm – Meditation and controlled breathing can help give you an endorphin lift. Visualize you at your goal weight and take the pressure off by taking it down a notch while relieving stress.

Unleash Your Giggler – Hearty belly laughs are an automatic joy lifter too. Look on the bright side and stop taking life so seriously. Turn that frown upside down while turning on the Comedy Channel!

Get Spicy – Hot chilli peppers added to your food can trigger a release. Sprinkle some on your eggs, pasta or stir fry and get all steamy with it as your endorphin elixir. Check out my Nan’s Arrabiatta recipe to spice it up a notch!

Turn On the Tunes – Crank up your favourite tunes and your spirits will lift as well. I love the motivation/pop music setting on Sonza as my mid-day picker upper. Check it out and work it into your routine, la la la la la la ba da ahhh.

Vamoose Your Caboose – Exercise and activity provide a whole lot of benefits on this front which can provide that “runner’s high”, decrease stress, ward off depression, boost self esteem while improving sleep to name a few of the many benefits. Make your interval training be comprised of moves you enjoy. Get outside and play!

Now here’s a spoiler alert that good lovin’, chocolate and light alcohol all boost your endorphins too. These can be enjoyed as a Valentine trifecta, which is right around the corner! Flood your senses!

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Reward to Stoke Motivation to Sizzle & Not Fizzle

January 9th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Who doesn’t love a reward? That positive burst of reinforcement. An adrenaline rush is a reward. Feeling good is too. Buying new stuff is a nice incentive. Wearing something you feel divine in has its benefits. Taking a quiet, hot bubble bath or having some Zen “alone time” can feel like a treat.

As you set goals to shift your behaviour doing the 3 x 3 consider starting your very own reward system. We all value different incentives. Tap into your personal preferences to identify what inspires you. We will, however, not use food-based rewards for obvious reasons.

As you build a system of rewards for yourself that provides positive reinforcement ensure it won’t break your bank. I wouldn’t want you to develop a lavish scheme that results in economic foreclosure. Focus on and identify some simple pleasures you personally feel are worthy. Your weight loss might hit a plateau, but your goals that get rewarded should help carry you through sizzling over the weeks, months and seasons. This will keep you pumped about your achievements and build momentum to propel your forward. So, go on, make a list of non-food rewards meaningful to you.

Reaching your ideal weight goal is your ultimate reward. Yes folks, that moment when you can zip up your skinny jeans without lying on the bed! That day will come months from now, perhaps longer. Why only use that one moment as your ultimate reward when you’re working at making changes each week? You deserve perks throughout your journey!

In hindsight, I didn’t realize just how impactful rewarding myself would be. At first, when you begin to lose weight, the number on the scale is a reward, but when the rate of loss slows down, you really need something more to keep your resolve stoked. These perks carry you through. As corny as it sounds, rewarding myself got me loving myself more fully. I am worthy.

I’ve counselled lots of people trying to lose weight. A common barrier I’ve observed is the “doormat syndrome”. You know, those good-deed doers – but for everybody else. They often put themselves last. Bestowing rewards isn’t selfish. It is paramount to your success. It’s a reminder you that you don’t have to martyr yourself to the cause. You ARE worthy. Details are described in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Journaling Journey to Create a Love Affair with Food & Activity

December 26th, 2014 1 Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

How many times have seen the top lists of books to buy for the coming year? Here’s a fresh idea during this downtime between Christmas and New Year: buy yourself a book with empty pages and start your eating and activity journal today! Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books that explains how to do this in detail. You cannot change what you do not realize. Awareness is bliss after all, right?!

Many studies have been done on the benefits of journaling your weight loss journey. Writing down everything that passes your lips, every crumb, sip and nibble makes you aware of what’s going down the hatch. One study followed 1,700 people on a weight loss program and found participants who journaled lost twice as much weight within 6 months as those who didn’t. Who needs to join a boot camp when you can be your own leader which could lead to a smaller booty?

These days eating happens in so many places: on the fly running to work, to working at the computer, to nibbling at your secretary’s desk, during food preparation, watching television and more. So much eating happens when people are concentrating on other things resulting in missing out on its ultimate enjoyment. Consider the following:

  • I Spy with My Little Eye – Train your eye and measure initially as you jot down the details, plus add your baseline activity each day
  • Let It All Hang Out - Jot everything down to get a clear picture, after all it’s for your eyes only
  • Daily Double – Do it daily either keeping your journal with you or by your bedside to complete before you turn your lights out before you lay your head down to sleep
  • Follow the 3 R’s: Review, Reflect and Reframe – This will heighten your awareness, get you thinking about what you truly need to adjust and get you on your way to making small goals each and every week as the days and weeks unfold in 2015

It’s helpful to take stock of what you eat and drink when you’re trying to lose weight. Once you get in the groove of journaling it’ll become second nature. These days you can track your intake electronically or the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Each page will hold the personal clues to what you need to change. Start now, why wait for the New Year….

Commit to creating a love affair with your eating and activity for the coming year… truly a noble goal that will enrich your life for years to come. Start today!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

Your Night Before Christmas

December 22nd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

T’was the night before Christmas and all in my head,
Was a real long “to do” list, and a big sense of dread.

I had come down to realize that I would make me a plan,
And to get started and make it, with ideas I ran.

I mulled some things over and made me a list,
One of these, one of those, eh, there was nothing I missed!

I would focus on what’s right during this most solemn time,
That brings joy and meaning, my thoughts turned on a dime.

With merriment, faith, joy, hope and love all abound,
Soul searching helps these feelings eventually come ’round.

For this outlook was different with focus on purpose,
Helps priorities align to what’s important to us.

Our neighbour is older and can use a hand,
With the snow shovelling perhaps or a sprinkle of sand.

My friend in my hood is going through chemo,
Could use a prayer, a kind word or allow her to give an earful.

What the season’s about, well it is all up to you,
It can focus on “me me me”, or it can focus on what’s true.

You can spend all your time fretting about what others will say,
Or you can do what is right and say “yo, what the hey!”

Soon the big day is coming, so will yours be alright?
With attention on others, bringing goodness and light?

Ya it’s fun to partake in the parties with wine,
After some goblets of “Oculus” you’ll be feeling mighty fine!

Try to remember what others are doing,
Is there food on their table? Are there some troubles brewing?

The very thought of that notion puts a lump in my throat,
Our Christmas Caravan gives to the needy with food or a coat.

What you make of this season is all up to you,
You can worry about you or what’s important to do.

Change of your focus from inward to outward I say,
With thought, time and effort you can make someone’s day.

It’s the littlest thing, that can mean so much in this world,
And one deed leads to another then another unfurled.

Then you’ll see that your focus on “me, myself and I”,
You’ll open your heart and look up to Heaven and say “my oh my”!

Find perspective on life, where priorities should be,
Cause at the end of the day it’s not all about me.

Get moving, get helping, be productive and then,
You’ll find the pieces of the puzzle fall into place again.

Merry Christmas to you, your family and others,
Cause we’re really all related, we’re all sisters and brothers.

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Freeze Frame the Christmas Reframe

December 18th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Christmas reframe
Stop and freeze frame
Sparkle from within
Be genuine

Do things for the right reason
During this and every season
Be pure as snow
Bring joy – Ho! Ho! Ho!

Put a song in your heart
A gift of you, to impart
Listen more and talk less
Worth the effort, I confess

Give the benefit of the doubt
That’s what relationships are all about
Be a sweet elixir
A real strong bond fixer

Act the truth
That’s the proof
March to a new beat
Not always an easy feat

Help others and aim to feel
Peace and kindness, keep it real
Slow down and take the time
Make your inner light shine

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