Archive for November, 2011

Holiday Family Time

Do you play games as a family…I mean board games? Have you ever captured the event on video? Keep reading!

Ed and I headed over to LaGrange, IL on Wednesday for Thanksgiving with my family.

We spent a nice afternoon with my mom, showed her  videos of Greyson (her first great- grandson) that were posted on Youtube, including one of the most recent ones of Greyson reading to Sawyer (3 weeks old!). The ending is priceless!

The challenge was that we had three sets of rules: my mom plays dominoes regularly with her friends and of course, they follow the rules-with a few ‘in-house’ variations; Jaimie, my niece, was reading the official rules; and the third set came from Jaimie’s experience. Sound familiar? Do you ever play family games with a variety of rules?

During play, I pulled out my iphone and captured some unique footage. This first clip shows one of our interactions about the rules. The second clip features the family realizing the challenge of changing the rules.  The third clip   recorded everyone processing the implications of my mom and Jaimie rolling their second Yahtzee (lots of points and pretty impossible to beat!)

Family time around board games must be unique in every family.  I would love to hear about your family experiences, either memories as a child, or currently as an adult.


Only 4 more days!

Anticipation is escalating as Thanksgiving Day is almost here!

Anticipation may be the wrong word to describe your emotions depending on what side of the table you will be sitting…are you hosting, are you simply showing up (we are :), do you like your family (we do!) or not …

Just came across a great post on in which Dr. Stephen Boyd shares some healthy wisdom about Thanksgiving. Conversation about family members may include health tidbits that can be instructive for personal decisions: for example, realizing the number of relatives affected by cancer could propel you to make common-sense decisions about food and activity habits… starting now!

Dr. Boyd also shares a great reminder to include activity as part of your family time: get everyone moving!

A  post on HealthyScience by Nina Fuller, referenced in my previous post “4500 Calories on Thanksgiving Day?” gave great suggestions for healthy substitutions of traditional menu favorites.  If you are the one providing the majority of the food (or just bringing one dish), consider sharing a healthy alternative.  You will be pleasantly surprised at how good healthy can taste- and the raves you will get from everyone about how good it was.

I’m looking forward to excellent food and family time this week.  There is a special element of ‘tasting good’ when food is prepared in a healthy way to look and taste tremendous. However, our entire family is committed to enjoy our time together—and for us, that means moderation, self-control, healthy choices, a good walk outside, and maybe even a board game .

A coaching comment I heard early on in my business is a good one for closing:
Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

Happy Thanksgiving!

4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day?

OK, I know it’s almost Thanksgiving Day. How can I possibly post an article with a headline like that?

I’ll tell you in a minute.

Thanksgiving just happens to be my absolute favorite holiday. I’ve even figured out why- and a couple of years ago I shared my thoughts with my Toastmaster’s Club.  I commented that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, being grateful, expressing gratitude. It boils down to celebrating an attitude: pretty tricky to commercialize an attitude!

To my way of thinking, gratitude is an expression of saying ‘thank you’ to someone for something.  To me, the Someone I say ‘Thank You’ to is God, my Heavenly Father…and what I express gratitude for are the many good things He has given me throughout my life.

Besides the meaning of Thanksgiving, it has always been a time of year that has fostered a gathering of family.  When I was growing up, the family got together at Nana’s house- and we thoroughly enjoyed a traditional dinner of turkey, dressing, stuffing, sweet potatoes with butter and marshmallows, mashed potatoes, corn, waldorf salad…and then a pie or two for dessert.  I loved it all- and thoroughly enjoyed all of the food- and ate as much as I wanted to.  After dessert, the family rule kicked in: If you didn’t help in the kitchen before dinner, then you were involved in the clean-up.  I think I got sucked into working both ends of the deal more than once!

The headliner, 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day, is the second piece of information in a blog that was just posted today titled Healthy Balancing Act. Here’s the opening sentence: “Believe it or not, the average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter.”

Whoa! That is disgusting! Calories are one thing, for sure, and you know that includes more than a normal amount of fat…but three sticks of butter: Nobody can put that picture comfortably out of their mind. Go ahead and try!

Fortunately, Nina Fuller who wrote and posted the article, included not only the caloric intake of the food that I listed above.  She also included ‘better options,’ and, if you are ready for it, a third listing of ‘a much healthier plate!

Nina makes a great point in that you don’t have to be deprived of the foods you love. But it would be in your best interest to have an idea of the size of the portions that you are eating.

These next six weeks are not the time to try to lose weight and inches.  Maintenance is a great goal! In fact I commend my brother Dan and niece Jaimie for taking the time to do a ‘cleanse’ last month in preparation for the holidays.  I’m confident that neither one is going to ‘pig out’ with poor food choices- not after taking the time to do a 10-day fast. Way to go Dan and Jaimie!

Here’s another observation:  our family food choices have changed over the last few years, and we are all much more conscious of offering good choices. My sister Debbie and sister-in-law Terry are always trying new healthy recipes.  Extra good news: the recipes taste great (at least they always do by the time I show up!)

This year Ed and I are heading over to Chicago for Thanksgiving where we will enjoy some family time, gratitude time…and healthy food.  No 4500 calorie meals for us!

Remember, you always have a choice.

What choices are already in place for you to enjoy a healthier Thanksgiving? Share something with us in the comments below.

Foods that Promote Anti-Aging

Take two minutes and check out this video clip  from  nutritionist Joy Bauer, who shares five foods to avoid that definitely contribute to aging.  You might not be too surprised at her list, but the visuals might just be enough to help you make a better decision a couple of times during our upcoming holiday celebrations! Fortunately, Joy also gives you a healthier alternative for each food to avoid. Her suggestions are not extreme, and you might come up with an even better idea. Please share it!!

What do you do to deal with the extreme temptations for unhealthy eating that surround all of us during the holiday season?

The Rest of the Story

Most of my readers know that we welcomed our second grandson, Sawyer William, a week ago, November 1, into our Phoenix family.  Sawyer and Erin are doing well, Daniel our son is happily taking on the role of father of two boys; Greyson, at 2 years and 3 months, is giving signs of enjoying his new role as big brother.  Erin shared some details- and photos- about God’s answers to prayer re: Sawyer’s birth at her blog.

The family plan was that Erin’s parents would be able to arrive in Phoenix just before the planned birth, Nov. 11.  Other family would come for Thanksgiving, and my time was going to be right after Thanksgiving.  I knew that was going to put family visits for the kids into three weeks of visitors, a challenge for anyone.  I knew we were planning to come out in early January, and said, ‘It’s OK- we’ll just wait for our January visit.”  Erin asked, ‘Are you sure you’re OK with that?’  I took a deep breath- realized that a January visit would mean it would be six months between visits with Greyson, the longest I hadn’t seen him- and said, ‘It’s OK.’

I trusted God that the decision I was making was the best for everyone.

Someone reading this who is not a ‘far-away’ nana or grandpa, may not understand that letting go of what I wanted was very difficult. Here’s another insight:

I have had this little story posted on my bulletin board  in front of me for about 3 years:

                                  A little boy was asked where his grandma lived.                                                                                     He replied, ‘Oh, she lives at the airport.                                                                        When we want to visit with her, we go and pick her up there.                          And then when the visit is over, we take her back to the airport.’

That little story has really hit home with me, because it is, indeed, how Greyson might describe my situation right now- but trust me,  I don’t want our relationship to be like that forever!

A multitude of emotions were swirling around in my heart and head as I took a deep breath and said, ‘It’s OK.’

A few days later we got the call from Daniel re: their decision to move, and their timetable to accomplish that before Sawyer arrived.  God put it in my heart to volunteer to help. The kids were very appreciative.

I couldn’t have volunteered to be of assistance in October had I insisted on a November visit. God had the timetable for my next visit already penciled in.  How disappointed I would have been on insisting on my own schedule and not being able to help with the move.

The bottom line: God loves us very, very much.  God wants us to be content with what He gives us- and we demonstrate that by trusting Him (Ps. 37: 4a, 5). God gives us the desires of our heart (Ps. 37:4b).

I know this is a very different blog from what I typically share, but I know that the spiritual component of wellness cannot be ignored or cut-out of man. The peace and joy that resulted from the decision to totally trust the Lord with my desires for a visit to the kids were rewards enough. Giving me a reason for an October visit was ‘so like my God.’  The past week of business energy and activity has been amazing to witness as well. Partnering with God where He is already at work is truly awesome.

What about you? Have you experienced the vitality of the spiritual component in your life and business?  Feel free to share your comments.

A Different Target Market

What kind of a future do the young men and women face when they leave the military? Since Nathan has just been discharged by the Army after serving almost 6 years, and is in the job-seeking phase, this question has been on the top of my mind.

Although I first became aware of the challenges when Nathan was still serving in Afghanistan, according to an article I read this morning,  the current unemployment rate is still  very high for veterans.

However, as I am listening to Nathan’s experience since he has arrived home and is going through the discharge process, I am happy to say that efforts have been made to provide the vets with more counseling and direction so that they can better make the transition from the military life to civilian life.  This is good news.

This week I read an article posted by Legal Zoom which will  provide you with encouragement that others are making tangible moves to undergird our military families.  Here’s the link to the article.

With some expressed political attitudes reflecting little military support- or even willingness to throw this group of Americans under the bus because ‘they knew what the risks were when they signed up, so asking them to pay for their own health care would be just a little request…’- I hope you too will appreciate this veteran’s business.

Perhaps you are connected to a business that could join efforts, and actually provide a discount to military families.

May I suggest that you pass this information on to a family member/friend in the military, and let them know that there are many here in the USA who are standing with them in tangible ways.

When you join the efforts of others in supporting a cause bigger than you are, it provides a higher sense of purpose—an intangible that positively impacts your health!


Omega 3 and Vitamin D3

Ever wonder why taking an Omega product is so important? Have you also been told you need Vitamin D? Check out this video.