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5 Best Books for People Who Hate to Read

5 Best Books for People Who Hate to Read

I completely geek out about what I am going to be reading when spring and summer start getting close. Even though my kids are the ones with summer vacation, I start to daydream about lazy afternoons at the pool, beach music and holding a good book.

Raising 4 children and having a husband is anecdotal evidence enough that not everyone likes to read.  Not everyone living under my roof loves to read. That said, there is enough evidence about reading and it’s the importance that I believe we readers should continue to share and hand off favorites in the event that our little book review might just be the one review that converts another person.

Maybe it was the English teacher that forced reading on you; however, I venture to bet there are still a few good books that you might enjoy.

Here’s a quick list of books that are sure to leave a smile on your face and possibly a desire to read more.

Have you read any good books lately?

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt

This was one of the very first books that I can remember reading just for fun!  This might be one of my favorite books of all time. It is going on the list this summer.

 

 

 

 

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Energy Bus, Jon Gordon

I love a good story, one that is easy to read, where you are cheering for the underdog.  This is a fast read, great message, and one of the first books that I remember Drew talking about.

 

 

 

 

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Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

In the story, Morrie cautions that at the end of our lives, we will miss our relationships with people the most.  We all need a reminder to slow down and appreciate each other because that is what is really worthy of our time and energy.

 

 

 

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The Precious Present, Spencer Johnson

It is such a good book.  Everyone must read this one.

Thank goodness it is a REALLY FAST BOOK to read because it has a play on words and I wanted to know how it would end.  If you want the feeling that you read a book , got a great message, and have the next book that you want to gift to graduates & “hard to buy for” people, then look no further.

 

 

 

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The Traveler’s Gift, Andy Andrews

If you like the movie and the story to It’s a Wonderful Life, you will LOVE this book. It’s the first of 3 books in the series.  After you read this one, you will be GLAD that there is more. I read this book once a year.

Originally posted 2020-02-23 21:06:11.

Motivated Monday Workout

How to stay motivated for morning workouts

How to stay motivated for morning workouts

Here are a few clever ways to stay motivated for morning workouts.

It’s a game of discipline and motivation to do what it takes to get up with your alarm and do what it takes to get started on the workout.  If your sheet win, you are missing out on added energy, improved mental health, a reduced risk for heart issues, and more.

#TransparentMake it your top priority to get as much sleep as possible.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you might find mid-afternoon crashes.  If you wake up earlier for workouts, you have to realize that you need to go to bed earlier.  Adequate sleep is non-negotiable.

#Transparent-2Pick out something fun to wear the night before.

Go for bright colors in the winter. Set yourself up to win with the discipline of packing the night before.  It seems obvious and simple, but few actually do it. That is also why few actually do the morning workouts.

#Transparent-3Stop hitting snooze

Think about it, you set an intention and attached a time the night before. Hitting snooze is actually quitting on yourself before you even get out of bed.  Set the time, be the person who shows up. The you at 2:00 will thank you for your discipline.

#Transparent-4Listen to music while you are getting ready

Your brain produced dopamine when you listen to music. Dopamine is the feelgood or happy hormone.  You will be energized before you even get started.

#Transparent-5Turn your light on right away

This is only possible if you do #3 well.  Don’t hit snooze. Jump out of bed, turn on the lights, no turning back.

 

In the end, remember that all that matters is that you are committed to moving your body because it is good for your heart, endorphins, skeletal system, lean muscle, and sense of well bein

Originally posted 2020-01-11 02:10:01.

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What is Fiber and How Does it Affect your Body Weight?

What is Fiber and How Does it Affect your Body Weight?

Erin recently asked me, “Where exactly does fiber come from?” She didn’t mean what sources of food have fiber, she wanted to know WHERE the fiber in the food came from.  If you have ever wondered…it is found in the tough cell walls of plants.

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.  Fiber is not found in animal products.

What are the 2 types of Fiber and Why Do you want Both

#TransparentSoluble Fiber

Soluble fiber swells like a sponge in the stomach giving a food a jellylike bulk that makes you feel full.  Soluble fiber also binds with calories and fat in the stomach and intestines and pulls them out of the body before they can enter the bloodstream.  Good sources of soluble fiber are oatmeal, oat cereal, celery, carrots, cucumbers, blueberries, dried pears, apples, oranges, pears, lentils, strawberries, raspberries, nuts, and beans.

Most whole plant foods contain both types of fiber.  Eating a variety of fiber-rich foods will provide you with beneficial amounts of both.

#Transparent-2Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber, also known as roughage, includes the woody or structural parts of plants.  Insoluble fiber works like nature’s broom.  It helps to speed material through the digestive tract.  These burn calories in the process.  Good sources of insoluble fiber are root vegetables with skin, broccoli, apples, grapes, raisins, whole grains, wheat bran, corn, bran, couscous, brown rice, nuts, seeds, whole wheat, carrots, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower.

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P.S.  If you are looking for an excellent fiber powder source that includes both soluble and insoluble fiber, this one is my favorite for smoothies and baking!

Follow me on Instagram and see how I incorporate this into my families lifestyle

Originally posted 2020-05-02 16:26:13.

pink lunch sack

Our Childhood

Our Childhood

I bet it would be fair to assume that as a child you ate nearly the same breakfast and the same lunch every single day.  You would start the day with a predictable bowl of cereal with milk and a banana. Lunch was a peanut butter sandwich cut in ½ or a ham and cheese (American cheese) sandwich.  There might have been school milk purchased, and an apple, or perhaps a small baggie of chips if you were lucky. It was a special time the weeks following Halloween because mom would allow ONE small candy bar per day.

Am I right?  As for dinner, who knows. You really wanted dessert and to be excused and I bet you could list a few familiar dishes.

Somewhere that got lost.  I want to point out that many of the people I talk to who have a healthy relationship with food (meaning they would probably not be interested in this blog post of food) seem to eat similar foods each day, for each meal.  They know the groceries to buy, they know the combinations of foods that make them feel good, and most days they simply show up to simplicity.

I want to remind those of you who are looking to create a lifestyle without food guilt, shame, anxiety, and drama, that it is ok to figure out what 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 bridge snacks, and 2 dinners make you feel the best.  Decide ahead of time what they are and be sure that each has a protein, fat, and fiber to balance your blood sugar and turn off hunger hormones.

It shouldn’t feel punitive. Rather, I hope this lands on you as an ah-ha that it is ok to simplify.  As you get to know me better and follow my lifestyle, you will see the pattern in what I eat, how I order, and what groceries I buy.

I made a deal with myself and did the work to choose the 2 meals for each eating time of the day.  It cost me a few minutes that one day but has saved me THOUSANDS of hours thinking about what to eat, what groceries to buy, and if what I am eating will support my health and weight goals.

Now, when I get really hungry (or when one of my students gets over hungry) this is what we do: eat the already planned meal, and THEN have the insanity food that sounds delicious.

This is how it sounds in my head: “I want pretzels and chocolate chips because I am going to eat my arm off.  Ok, eat the smoothie first then you can have it.” As I am making my smoothie, I am telling myself I can have the insanity snack in just a few more minutes. However, I eat the smoothie and the craving for the pretzels and chocolate chips subsides. I am back in control.

This does get easy, and it does make your life more simple.  It will cost you the homework on the front end but will save you so many calories on the back end.

Go back to the days of childhood.  Eating the same thing meal after meal can be a really, really good thing!

Originally posted 2020-01-05 17:36:18.

Dec Pace

December Pace – Why it’s a blessing

December Pace – Why it’s a blessing

Let’s face it: December requires us, girls, to show up with even more awesome than other months of the year.  I would argue that the only month to rival December would be May, but that is for another conversation.

Here is how I look at the month of December: I deal with real-life then, with a big GULP, admit that my to-do list just doubled or tripled in size.  I have to do all my normal things then add in add being cheery, decorating, baking, extra hosting, cards, shopping, ribbon, and wrapping on top (to name only a few).

We are aware that New Year’s Eve is looming and that January 1 and Resolutions is right around the corner.  I want to propose a new way of looking at December in preparation for the coming year.

Choose to see all the December distractions, additions, I see the activities as a blessing because you are so busy. This is the one month every year that I set my intentions to follow #one80eating day in and day out, I absolutely enjoy the day of Christmas (or Christmas Eve) and New Year’s. Other than that, we are too busy to mindlessly eat, nosh, splurge. There is too much to be done.

Here is what it requires of you: groceries and being boring.  Grab your protein powder, basil seeds, and cashew milk and have your smoothie each breakfast. Lunch, have the salad!  Have the big salad (a side of GG’s to help fill you up), make your bridge snack simple with 4 GG Crackers and a pouch of nut butter (keep this in the car) or another ½ smoothie, and dinner can be a salad with some protein with grilled veggies.

Done.  You choose the flair, you input the ingredients, but that is my December boring basic food list that keeps me fueled through the month.

Since there is so much to do, and little time to eat because you are bored or looking for something to do, this could be one of the easier times to stay on track.

Want some party tricks?

  • Water-wine-water (repeat)
  • Hold the glass in your non-dominant hand
  • Drink a ½ smoothie before you go in to offset your hunger
  • Choose 3 bites of anything that looks to die for, find fiber for the rest.

You have got this.  You can do December different.  You can make this the first New Years where you are well on your way to reaching your goals, not just starting out!

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Originally posted 2019-12-22 17:29:35.

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Have you ever thought about using your phone alarm for more than a wake-up call?

Have you ever thought about using your phone alarm for more than a wake-up call?

New Decade vision

For me, #one80eating is not just about losing weight, lowering cholesterol, and managing blood pressure.  It is understanding that I don’t have to settle in and unhealthy lifestyle, bodyweight… It applies to NOT having to settle in life, friendships, career.

Don’t have to settle for mediocrity when greatness exists.  If I see something that needs to be changed, change it. Don’t have to be stuck.  The change will come with sacrifice. We all have the ability to change. Don’t have to be stuck.  The change will be uncomfortable, it will require being mindful, and take time and resources…but positive change is possible.

If your perception of what you get is worth what it is that you are giving up you will find it worth it.  When you look back on your life, you want no regrets. Do you like your life, career, friendships work, are you kind and philanthropic as you can be?   Are you at your personal best at work? Do you feel your personal best? If the answer is no, think about why that is and think about the steps to take.

Think about your best self. What does that person look like, sound like.  Envision the relationships you will have, career, the family you will have..  Picture the life you want for your self. Every day you have the opportunity to live up to that and take a step closer.   Some days you may be undermining that.

Becoming the better version takes habits and reminders.  I have my phone set with alarm reminders to be “PRESENT, CALM & at PEACE”.  I have another reminder set in my phone to remind me to be, “BOLD, CONFIDENT, & DYNAMIC.”  These phone reminders go off in the middle of the day, the alarm makes me look at my phone, and I am SHOCKED at how much I need to be reminded of these intentions. I can honestly say, that I am most often NOT doing what these reminders say when they come in.  They reorient my thoughts. These alarms are helping me to create and sustain the habits that are needed to create the life I want.

When I married DKC (almost 24 years ago), I wore diamond studs. They symbolized change, elegance, and that we were starting a life of our dreams. Every single day,  I wear those diamond earrings as a physical reminder that I am living MY best life. There are plenty of hard & unfancy days that I have to choose to remember that. The earrings are simply a physical reminder to myself.  It doesn’t have to be diamond earrings for you, these are what I already had, and I had an intention with them on our wedding day. I’m just giving an example of using something you have near you every day and attaching a deep personal meaning to it.

What do you have in place to keep you focused forward on your vision for your life?

It is one thing to visualize it, it’s another to put action behind the vision.  This is a new DECADE, a fresh chance at making new habits that can change your life forever.  I hope it encourages you to know that it’s the little discipline repeated frequently that makes great change happen.

Like Tony Robbins says, “People overestimate what they can do in a month, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a year.”  Let’s set you up for 2020 to be the start of a different kind of Decade, the getting things done, kind of decade.

Originally posted 2019-12-29 19:33:46.

You are what you eat. So don’t be fast, easy, cheap, or fake

Is it emotional eating or is it hunger? Do you know the difference?

Is it emotional eating or is it hunger? Do you know the difference?

No more commute time AND skipping Spanx & pointy shoes.  While Covid is not how we wanted to go about taking time off from those things, here we are.  Our heels have been traded for gym shoes, Spanx for slippers and tennis shoes, and fast lunches for pantry snacks.  This might feel like a really pleasant change; however, this shift will cause many people to re-evaluate how they structure their days to stay healthy.

Obviously, a big part of being healthy while stuck at home is diet (pattern of eating).  It isn’t just what you eat, but how much, when, and WHY.  Physical hunger does play into eating habits, but  most of us eat because of emotional hunger.  It’s normal, and our emotions are really high right now because of the pandemic.  Basically, emotional hunger leads to eating because we are responding to our feelings rather than physical hunger.

The problem with emotional eating is that it leads to overeating, increased frequency, and/or craving specific junk foods or comfort foods.  So, it’s normal, we all do it, and it is often triggered by stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom. It can also be a way to distract ourselves (or avoid) other emotions we don’t want to feel and can easily become a habit.

It can be tricky to identify if it is emotional eating or physical hunger.  Here are 3 ways to tell if what you are feeling is emotional hunger:

#TransparentIt comes on REALLY FAST

The urge to snack or eat comes on really fast if it is emotional hunger.  Physical hunger comes on gradually. If you suddenly find yourself craving food, check-in:

  • When was the last time you ate?
  • Was it one hour or several hours ago?

If you last ate a protein, fat, & fiber meal an hour ago and you are hungry, it might be emotionally driven.

#Transparent-2Feeling full doesn’t last

Sadly, emotional hunger doesn’t leave you feeling full and satisfied for long.  That’s because the food you eat really isn’t solving what you are really hungry for.   If it is boredom, food gives you something to do, but only for a few minutes.  If it is anxiety, you may feel calm while you eat, but then…regret for overeating. It does not ease and calm anxiousness.  To really satisfy emotional hunger, it’s worth identifying the underlying negative emotions and then addressing them.

#Transparent-3You won’t feel it in your stomach!

This is fascinating and probably the biggest tell between emotional and physical hunger.

Emotional hunger isn’t felt in the stomach.  Physical hunger has a sign we all recognize, our stomach growls and there is a gnawing if we go too long without food.  Did you know that we feel the rumbling and the sound we hear is actually audible because there is no food to buffer the sound?  What you hear are the organ and muscular activity. Emotional hunger is coming from our thoughts, not our bodies.

 

Because emotional eating is triggered by thoughts and not our bodies (biology), it is easy to get trapped in an emotional eating cycle.  Boredom can lead to larger quantities & increased frequency… which can create feelings of guilt. To minimize the guilt feelings, we might reach for a treat to soothe us (temporarily). This is where food and emotions feed the emotional eating cycle.  It makes sense that since so many people are suddenly under chronic stress, it would be more difficult to mindfully change our behaviors since there seem to be so many more triggers.

Is emotional eating something you are struggling with?  If yes, you are not alone. This is a big part of what I work on with clients.  SOS  will educate WHAT to do, and as you see success, we begin to tackle what gets in the way of consistency, which is one of the biggest problems is emotional eating.  The good news is, when done right and with the right person, you can get back on track to eating for physical hunger MORE OFTEN than eating for emotional hunger.

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Originally posted 2020-04-25 13:32:01.

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WFH

WFH

What is distracting you more lately? Netflix or News?

If you are new to working from home, welcome to your new office.  I’m not new here – maybe I can show you around.

If you are like me, these distractions are lurking in unlikely places…take laundry for one.  Laundry is typically a last resort or chore. When you are working from home and facing an email you don’t want to write, a difficult task, or uncomfortable conversation, laundry folding can become a welcome distraction. Laundry folding “feels like working”, is a chore and is necessary to do, but when it comes to work that you need to accomplish, it is a distraction. Laundry can become the at home equivalent of the break room.  Beware 😉!

I had to train myself to stick to a work schedule during my work block. Here are a few “best practice” tips.

#TransparentGet dressed each day

This is inspired by “Dress for Success.”  I admit I don’t EVER want to do this, but AFTER I am dressed my mindset is far more positive and productive and goal-oriented.

 

#Transparent-2Dedicate a place to work

No matter what it looks like, you need a designated place to be present to get your work done!

I have an unfancy “make-shift” office.  My pretty office has no doors or carpet to buffer the sounds of the family who are doing life in the next room. It made more sense to turn a space (with carpet and a door) into my space.  I have recently heard of friends putting a table, lamp, and chair in a closet. The acoustics are great & the distractions are low. It is ok to get creative.

Staying healthy and happy while working from home.

#Transparent-3Plan your TOP 3 the night before

It is hard to make it up on the fly.  If you can decide, as you close down at the end of the day, what your top 3 things for the next day are, your odds of being more productive increase greatly.  A mentor once said, “Focus on doing what is important, not urgent.” The top 3 help with finding where to focus.

#Transparent-4Block Time

This is a productivity hack. I will set an alarm (for 25 minutes or 50 minutes..depending on the task)  and power through things I don’t really want to do.  Somehow, feeling like I am beating the clock helps me to tackle tasks with more efficiency… probably because my mind knows I only have a few minutes.  This worked for me when I was a student with my math problems.

No matter, it all comes down to consistency.  Consistency compounds. This blog is an example of that. I didn’t want to get up and get dressed, but I did it and headed to my office where my calendar said to write.  I set my timer, opened my laptop, and voila, a productivity list about what I did to be productive.

You’ve got this!  What do you do to be productive?

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Originally posted 2020-04-18 11:34:00.

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Top 4 things I wish I knew 20 years ago about packing up the holidays

Top 4 things I wish I knew 20 years ago about packing up the holidays

 

#TransparentTake pictures inside and outside of EVERYTHING before you tear it down, keep this in your phone for next year.  Time has a way of erasing your memory of where you put what. This will save you a lot of thinking next fall. All you have to do is remember to pull up the pictures on your phone

 

#Transparent-2When packing up, put all the decore from each room (or cluster) into the same box.  I have a keeping room with certain decorations. They all go into the same box. Next year, I grab my pictures off my phone, put the box in that room, and have at it.  I save so much time and energy doing this.

 

#Transparent-3Make a list now of your inspiration ideas that you didn’t get to, yet.  If you have pictures, put them with the list. Just make the list and compile it!

 

#Transparent-4Shop for your inspiration list AFTER CHRISTMAS during the humongous sales.  Lady Diana, my mom, taught me to buy one big decoration piece every year. They add up over a lifetime. I figured out to buy them after Christmas, save a lot, and then next fall I would have the new holiday decoration to set out at a fraction of the cost.

 

What are your simple steps to make the holiday set up and tear down easier?  It takes a village.

Originally posted 2019-12-15 20:28:17.