Monday, September 28, 2009

Cleaning House

I just spent the last hour (or two?) cleaning out my inbox. The problem with the number of jobs I have (today, 3) is that I have 4 email addresses. My personal address, is like an old friend---we've been hanging out since 2006 or maybe 2005. Maybe it was 2004? Who knows, but it's been a while. I've had a few computers during that time too---and generally speaking, I've left thousands of emails in old inboxes, never having to clean them out before I stopped using the computer.
The desktop I'm using now has been really good to me---for the last 5+ years. Finally, over the last few weeks, it has been slowing down and telling me that it's full. I've filled the hard drive with parts of two degrees worth of homework and papers, three teaching jobs (or 4?), wellness coaching stuff, web design stuff, and lots of digital pics. I'm not so much of a hoarder in person---I often get rid of things (especially clothing) that I end up wishing I had later. But I'm messy, and messy people who want to be neat can't have a lot of stuff that lays around causing messiness. Someday, though, I'll post a pic of all my kitchen gadgets. It's obscene, and I won't tell you how much I spent on my blender.

I guess cleaning my inbox this evening, and paring down the number of messages present from 7000 to 1200, made me think about de-cluttering and how it can help productivity level (not to mention peace of mind). Like I said, I'm not a very cluttery person with physical stuff, but when my desk, computer, inbox, and other virtual clutter begins to reach a breaking point, it makes me less able to focus and be productive. I was going to clean my inbox when it reached 5000, but it seemed like such a long boring I put it off.

The truth is, it wasn't so bad. I want to try and do that for other areas of my life too because then maybe having 3 jobs won't make me feel so scatterbrained (and it's soon to be 2 anyway). Maybe I'll sell stuff I don't use. Anyone want a pair of size 8 Uggs (they have laces and I'm too lazy for all that), a Garmin GPS watch for running (I tore my meniscus), or a dyson vacuum (apparently Joe hates it, and since he does all the vacuuming....)?

Did I mention I have no knick knacks? Wait, that's not true---I have these. Aside from the bowl, which just holds random junk, I'm quite fond of the others and paid way too much for two of them. Not as much as the blender though...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Be Your Own Healthcare Advocate

We all know the controversy going on in this country regarding healthcare---and I don't want to talk about that. In fact, if you talk to me about it in person, I will probably just mildly agree with whatever you say about it.

I'd like to take it to a more micro-level. What do you do when you need to use your healthcare provider? Do you advocate for yourself, or do you just blindly trust whomever you have chosen to see? Speaking from experience, I think there are parts of the healthcare system that are just horribly pathetic. I don't want to pinpoint small town doctors or hospitals as always being "bad," so please don't take it that way. If you live in a small town, you have just as many questions to ask as the big city people---maybe with a slightly different focus depending on what is available and what you need.

I recently went to the doctor, for the first real time that I actually needed something. I didn't see a doctor, but a nurse practitioner. This was at the Medical Associates of the Finger Lakes, Penn Yan branch (because although I live in Rochester, I'm lazy and after I called 20 places who were not accepting new patients, I gave up and went back to the place in PY I have never really liked). It's not because it's in PY that I don't like it, but because it's dingy and gray looking and the nurse practitioner tells me the exact same bad information every time I see her. (Did you know that women in their 40s+ are most likely to get HPV because they don't use protection? Also, you can cure any skin breakouts by eating broccoli. Neither one is true).
This most recent trip in, I had a specific question, was looking for a specific referral, and had by all intents and purposes researched enough that I knew exactly what I needed. The NP not only did not listen to me, but she came up with her own idea of what she thought was going on (asked me 10 questions out of a book, to which I answered No to all but one), and then concluded that she was right (!?). Then she referred me to the most inappropriate specialist for this particular issue, to which I will not go and waste insurance money or co-pays on. It made me think about all the people out there who are just taking this crap service because they don't know any better (and that is not an insult, it's just a case of trusting the so-called experts).

What do you need to do to advocate for yourself?

1. Research your symptoms before you go. Google it. Easy. Print out what you think it might be and understand why, and also what the options are for treatment.

2. Get a second opinion. If you go to the doctor, and anything serious happens (i.e. diagnosis or referral) or you don't feel like the doctor is on the right track, go find another doctor and get another opinion.

3. Go to a doctor who has good reviews. This is not always easy, but try and find other people who have gone there and listen to their stories and make your decision based on that and what your needs are.

4. Ask questions. I don't know how many people come to me and say their nurse takes their blood pressure and doesn't even tell them what it is. YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. In fact, you should keep track on paper. What if normally you have low BP (100/50), and one day you get it checked and it's 120/80 (textbook perfect), so they say---great BP! But for you, this is high. You just missed an opportunity to catch something before it's a bigger problem. A good question to ask your healthcare provider, "What would you do if you were in this situation?" Don't assume they are telling you everything, or that you shouldn't ask something--if they don't know they'll look it up. And if they don't look it up, you should find a new doctor.

5. Take into account what you're looking for. If you have a hangnail it's not such a huge issue. If you have a chronic disease, are pregnant, have something unidentified that could be serious, or are just being extra cautious---make a big deal about it.

Why is this so important to me? First, because I screwed up. I didn't follow this advice, and I wasted an afternoon driving to PY to talk to a nurse who was rude and a NP who was completely incompetent and irresponsible for my health outcome. It was pathetic, and I wasted money on it.

Like I said before, I am not putting down small town doctors or hospitals, but take into account what your needs are when you choose where to go. This NP I went to has always served the purpose before because I never actually needed anything from her.

When my sister was pregnant, she chose to go to FF Thompson in Canandaigua because it was probably better than Geneva (just a guess that's what she was thinking). Whether it was technically those doctors' and nurses' "fault" or not, I would bet my life on the fact that she wouldn't have died that night if she had her baby in Rochester. I'm guessing she didn't follow my rules above, because otherwise, in spite of childbirth being commonplace, she'd have weighed the seriousness of having a baby and wouldn't have minded driving the extra half hour to ensure everyone came out of it alive. But you know what? I can't ask. On top of that, I won't ask the three people I know who have had babies in the exact same place with the same doctor since then, what they are thinking. Only because it's none of my business, and maybe they just see Jen dying there as a fluke. And they are right, it's not common. But it happened. And that makes it possible---I bet Jen didn't think it would happen to her either, and she never thought there'd be an emergency that FF Thompson wasn't equiped to handle, whether they should have been equipped or not. They didn't handle it. She didn't consider that option---if she had?

Associated with #5 above, ask yourself: Are the risks associated with your healthcare choice low? If not, make a new choice. If so, could you reasonably make them lower with another choice? This my friends, would have saved my sister's life. Her choice was reasonable, but she could have made it better if she had even known to think about it.

I'm just asking you, because you're reading this, to think about those things when you make your healthcare decisions. Be your own advocate because no one will ask the questions for you, or decide what's most important when choosing care. You get to decide, and most of us don't decide actively---going with the flow is not always the best choice. Don't make assumptions. Don't take chances with your life and health.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

Michael Pollan's statement is really true!
What's your goal? Be healthier? Be skinnier? Live longer? Feel better?

In any case, you can follow that mantra and you will be better off. And closer to your goal.

Sometimes I'm better at that method than others. In Florida. Bad. In Rochester. Sometimes Good. Out to Eat. Bad. With People. Bad. Stressed. Bad. Nervous. Bad. After eating Badly. Bad....

There seems to be so much more Bad than Good. So then I think about how much more Bad there is than Good. And then that makes me do more Bad. Snowball.......

So if I can focus on these three small details----Eat food (you know, not crackers out of a box that could just as easily have ended up in the paper factory and then in your printer). Not too much (you know, like when I should have stopped after 1 cacao berry clarity but instead I ate 3 because I was feeling intense). Mostly plants (Easy to tell what is what---if it's a plant, eat more. If not, eat less.).

It's simple! Not easy, simple. You can't be perfect after making one effort or decision. But keep it in your head. Keep trying. It gets better. Who wants to be perfect anyway?

Bring a Friend to Work

I went downstairs to the garage this morning, and got in the car....and hit the garage door opener button, and it went up about 2 inches and then stopped. I tried this a few times and then got out of the car to find that one of the springs is broken.

So I'm stuck. I had an 8am appointment with the 17 housing maintenance guys (how ironic) on campus that I had to email in and cancel. I'm supposed to be in the USC building all morning and have several appointments there....not to mention my 2 11am appointments and the lunch time walk....

I had no trouble missing work for the last three days after letting people know and planning to not be in. But it's a little different when I'm just not showing up and calling in at the last minute. Then again, stuff happens---I'll just do work at home till Angel or that other maintenance guy comes over and fixes it.

I called Midge, my HR friend at RIT, to let her know why I'm not showing up, and I ended up talking to her for the entire time she was driving around campus making sure the Farmers' Market signs were set up (p.s. Farmers' Market from 10-2 in E Lot---they have great stuff, even baked goods and chair massages). At the point when we decided to get off the phone, she said it would be nice if we could just keep talking----which reminded me of when I was a stay-at-home auntie, and I would occasionally talk to my friend Stacey as she walked her entire mail route. Sometimes Matthew and I would meet her out in town with the stroller and walk part of her route too. And no, USPS, we never carried any of the mail for her in the stroller.

When I began wellness coaching, I often thought how nice it would be if I could bring a friend to work---a team effort would make it more fun, and easier. The time would go faster too, I think.

As a wellness coach, I get to be kind of a loner---talking and listening all day long, often with people I consider friends, but it's still a solo job. If you do get to work with and among people you call friends, take a moment to notice (and maybe even let them know) how much better they make your day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I'm in Florida. Yes, I'm on the computer---because I teach online and I have no choice. And I like it. I can do a half a day's worth of work and then walk away from it (except when a student calls me while I'm at a Miami Dolphins game to tell me her house just burned down!).

I'm pretty happy about the fact that at the football game last night---leading up to it, during, and after actually---there were a lot of things that happened that could have been annoying. But they weren't.

A quick run-down:
Before game traffic....sitting in traffic where a few people caused a bottle neck by trying get around the problem and then ended up jamming things up and slowing things down for everyone else.
During the game....very immature 20-somethings sitting in front of and behind us. One girl spent the entire first quarter (and then periodically after that) turned around standing up (the only person standing for most of the time), waving and trying to get her friends' attention who were sitting further back. The girl behind me talking incessantly about how easy it would be to be a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, and discussing her boob size with the boys next to her.
After the took an hour to actually move from our parking spot to the exit of the parking lot.

The funny thing is that there was not one moment when I was annoyed. I noticed all that stuff, and more. Joe doesn't get annoyed about things that don't matter, and so it just wouldn't make sense for me to either. We just had the best time. It was sweaty and loud, and there were those 20-somethings, and a really really big guy sat next to me and infringed on my space, and the people in the parking lot were wasted and playing really awful music really loudly...And if I had gotten annoyed at any of it, that would have been the only thing that was different about the night because none of those people would have been any different based on my reaction. I guess I'd rather just notice and laugh about it and then have a good time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Waiting Patiently for Change.

I'm on the verge of a lot of change, and it is not happening very quickly----a bunch of things have to wait until other things happen before I can make a move. And those things that need to happen are out of my hands, and in the hands of people who are not being proactive.

I'm trying not to be frustrated----and I'm working on being patient. So, time will pass and everything will work out.

I had this email dialogue with my mom today, who by the way, if I haven't mentioned it, is the most amazing real person I've ever known.

While I was speculating and projecting ideas....she responded like this.

"I agree - I want to be crazy-me with no holds barred --- not censor my thoughts and beliefs - just rock-them - LIKE MONETIZE THE HATE {}- that is genius.

And yah ------ the sky is the limit for you --- and like me as time passes, it just feeds your determination to make these choices.

We can do anything --- we have already --- and if we don't, shame on us - because we have trekked thru madness and mayhem - and that can't be only to survive. Truly."

I love my mom because she is so real---someday I would like to write a post to tell you how awesome she is, and how humbled I am by how she came to be who she is. I know other people have gone through a lot and managed and persevered and risen above it all...but I don't know them. So my mom is an inspiration, and I think her story would inspire you too.

The truth is, the title of this blog (Thrive, in case you didn't notice :)), is what she's talking about there---remember that old question, "what's the point?" Well, I believe the point can't be just to get through it.

But let's wait till later for all that----my plan is to transfer this blog to a different platform in the next couple weeks and then make it less work-ish and more me-ish. Consider that a fair warning :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life in Music

I'm not sure if this post is wellness related, but I'll try and tie something in--maybe it has something to do with telling my story---Since I'm encouraging you to improve your wellness through telling your stories, maybe I should set an example!

I went to Boston last weekend---not really, it was South Dartmouth, but it felt like going to Boston for the most part---for my friend Catie's wedding. I left early Saturday morning and returned on Sunday, so it was a pretty quick trip. Joe stayed in Rochester to run the half marathon, so it was a solo road trip for me. Aside from being a little stiff afterward from driving so much, I really enjoyed all that time in the car with nothing to do. I don't know about you, but when I travel I always end up listening to things on the radio I wouldn't normally listen to at home. This trip was kind of nostalgic for me at times.

I have driven the first part of that trip many times because I used to live in the Boston area...and I'm pretty sure that similar to my trip last weekend, it has always rained at least part of every drive I've ever taken between Boston and home.
I heard a little of everything on the radio--- Paula Cole, Oasis, Dave Matthews, Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, Lisa Loeb, Ace of Base.... even Madonna from the early years.

I think most of my life played through my head during the first half of my drive---generally provoked by whatever song came on the radio. The trip itself reminded me of one specific prior drive to MA---except that I was alone this time. In 2001, I graduated from college on a Saturday, moved to Boston on Sunday and started working on Monday. I was 22, and my sister Jen, who was two years older than me and living in Penn Yan with her husband, drove me to my new home that day in my car and then flew home the next morning. We scoped out Lexington (my new 'hood) and went to the grocery store (Stop 'n Shop--so not Wegmans) and figured out my route to get to work the next day. It wasn't that I was a mess about making that big move, but it was a big deal at the time, and she helped me make it through with only tearing up just a little bit when she left for the airport and I left for work. I'm not sure if I ever told her how helpful and meaningful that was to me, but I'm pretty sure she knew. I hope so---she was always really good at writing notes and cards and mailing me stuff (one card even had a footprint--signed by her dog Maddie). Most people I stayed in touch with just emailed me, but I think she knew that getting real mail when you're alone is just that much better.

As I was driving to Dartmouth this past weekend, at a certain point, I realized I wasn't going to end up very near Boston because Tom Tom was telling me to turn off the Mass Pike. I followed his directions, found myself in downtown Providence, and realized I had not downloaded any map updates since May of 2008---but Providence had certainly updated their roads. So, I was lost, and Tom Tom was confused---showing me driving through the air perpendicular to the roads on the map. Luckily it was Sat morning with light traffic, and I ended up back on 95 soon enough, headed in the right direction (I hoped).

I made it---found the hotel----found my college friends, and went to the wedding. Catie's parents own a house in South Dartmouth, and the wedding was there---outside----in the pouring rain. We all laughed as we approached because if anyone has to have a wedding in the rain, it should be Catie. She would never let that put a damper on her event. And it didn't. It was fun catching up and fun planning our next friend reunion. I drove home on Sunday thinking I would make it to the yoga workshop I signed up for that afternoon. But I didn't.

And I'm totally behind on my work---for all of my jobs. I think I'll go to yoga class tonight and just deal with it later. This whirlwind trip could have really thrown me into a frenzy, both to prepare and recover work-wise (considering I'm also going to Florida next weekend). But I'm glad I'm just rolling with it---I had a good time, and all that driving time with all those old songs was kind of like reflective therapy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Live on Purpose

Stories of Wellness

I like the idea of becoming healthier through telling your story. It's kind of the foundation I used in my own research, and I am seeing it more and more all the time.

My friend Monica, who works at a place where I used to do wellness coaching, is trying this out---blog-style. She hails from a little town outside Pittsburgh, and lives south of Rochester for now. Read her blog....start at the bottom and read up

Think about what your story would look like if you were to start writing it down...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Indentify your Indentity

We all have "things" we identify ourselves by, even if we don't actually walk around with those labels displayed for everyone. You may call yourself a smoker, a health nut, a fat person, a stupid person, an intelligent person, etc.

It's interesting to look at how our personal conceptions of our identities inform how we can actually (or can't) change. I think the easiest example is to look at someone addicted to something---let's make it obvious and just talk about heroin :)

So a person who calls themselves a "heroin addict" is never going to be successful at changing (most likely). Why? Because if you see yourself as a heroin addict, you may be able to stop using it temporarily, but you're still an addict who is not using it and you will start again. This is really common for people who are overweight too---if you call yourself a chubby person, you will have a much more difficult time changing it permanently (ever heard of yo-yo dieting?).


Let's say you see yourself as a health nut. If you label yourself as "health nut" and really read up on it and believe it to be true and start acting like a health nut, you can change your weight. Eventually, the habits you do that are causing your extra pounds will change. But if you focus on being overweight, you are just fulfilling the label.

There have been so many studies on this, but we still don't really follow it (maybe we like to call ourselves names?). A related example is a study in which classrooms were labeled as either regular or gifted (where there were no difference in the abilities of the students, just randomly selected). The "gifted" students not only thought of themselves as smarter but they also performed as gifted students would. Even those students who had been previously labeled as needing extra help. This study was used to demonstrate that the way teachers perceive their students determined how they taught and treated the students. They held students to higher standards and the students themselves also knew they were being called gifted, so they lived up to the expectations.

Why not use this to our own advantage? What do you want to be? Smart, organized, beautiful, funny, life of the party.........? If so, then stop calling yourself average or worse. Make lists of the identity traits you want. Then focus on those instead of the names you've been calling yourself up till now. Just see what happens!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Go Bowling to Be Healthy

Huh??!! Go bowling to be healthy? Well, maybe it's not that simple. But here's the story:

Dr. Robert Putnam of Harvard University, wrote a book called "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community." The book is very heavy on statistics and I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for a light and quick read. Let me tell you what I got out of it (I didn't read all of it either).

Possibly the most eye-opening catch phrase in the book says something about how if you're a smoker and you want to cut your chance of dying in half this year, you should either quit smoking or join a civic association (think: The Elks Club).


Let me back up a little bit. I'm interested in the concept of Social Capital, which "refers to connections among individuals -- social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them (Putnam)." Over the last several decades, social capital has declined very quickly and significantly. This is a big deal, and it's not just that we miss the good old days. "School performance, public health, crime rates, clinical depression, tax compliance, philanthropy, race relations, community development, census returns, teen suicide, economic productivity, campaign finance, even simple human happiness -- all are demonstrably affected by how (and whether) we connect with our family and friends and neighbors and co-workers."

To bring this back around to the bowling reference, Putnam talks about how people used to join bowling leagues, and now are significantly less likely to do so---they still might bowl but it's on an occasional basis where social bonds are not formed as deeply.

Low social capital leads to more depression, sickness, colds, cancer, stroke, heart attacks, and unexpected death in general.

What should you do? You don't have to join the Elks Club if you don't want to. You could go on a walk with a neighbor, or better yet, get together with neighbors and throw a block party. Turn off the TV and the Internet during your free time and do something more social. If you don't want to go out partying or socializing and schmoozing all the time, you don't have to (I'm pretty thankful for that---I love being home). Find the social connections you like, and just do those more. You don't have to have a million friends, just make sure the bonds you have with the ones you want are strong and that you interact meaningfully and casually with the people you care about on a regular basis.

This was a big boring book, but it had so many statistics that clearly proved this point, that it is certainly worth mentioning. Over the decades, technology, life pace increases, dual-career households, and more have impacted our time spent investing in social capital. The bottom line is that the value of social capital is undeniable. You can ignore it if you choose----but if you do ignore it, you might just want to quit smoking and improve your odds of survival :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Don't Worry and Don't Hurry

One of my new favorite things to do is to download and listen to podcasts while I'm doing cardio. I am kind of tired of listening to the radio, and I'm a little short on time for reading, so I figured the next best thing (and way to keep feeding my seek-aholic brain) would be to listen to people talk.
Yesterday, I was listening to an interview by Dhrumil from He was interviewing Dr. Alejandro Junger (remember the guy who wrote Clean?). By the way, I'm still totally sold on the Cleaning/Detoxing idea, but I have more opinions now that I've "read" 3 more books after Clean on the same topic. I'll save that for later.

Anyway, Dr. Junger talked about his life, and progression of events that led him to developing the Clean program and writing the book. It was interesting, but one thing that really stuck out to me was a conversation he talked about that he had with a spiritual leader at an Ashram in upstate NY. He spent time there before and after going to India to practice medicine. When he returned to the states, he was confused about what direction to go in life---he was widely known and respected for his cardiology expertise, but India also valued what he could offer them in the way of developing their medical offerings.

His spiritual leader eventually told him she had two pieces of advice for him:

1. Don't worry.
2. Don't hurry.

The point was that all he had to know was what direction he wanted to go (in his case, to keep learning and to keep helping people). If he followed this purpose, he wouldn't need to worry about what to do or how to do it, and it would happen naturally---he didn't need to try and make it happen faster.

It reminds me of wellness coaching because we are always going outside (backward and forward) of our current moment. We obsess about things we did (how we messed up and reflecting that on how we'll act in the future), and things we hope we can make ourselves do (intensity about getting what we want and thinking of the end results of not getting it---worrying about what will happen to us).

If we could just re-focus on what's happening right now, we'd be much better off. Worry is just a negative excuse to not do anything differently right now---let the world happen to you because you're paralyzed by what might happen anyway. When we look at things this way, we don't change our behaviors. Additionally, when we constantly obsess about what the future might bring, we try to hurry things along, usually involving some kind of mental process and intensity about trying to control things in life that we have no control over---or just plain hurrying, and making each moment intense trying to get to the next. If we relax, do our work and feel good, we're more productive in the end anyway.

So, don't worry, and don't hurry. Just take time to identify what's most important to you, and figure out how to mesh that with feeling good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Here's the pic of bee pollen that I meant to post earlier....


Have I mentioned to you how much I love these products?

I have been buying the Whole Food Vibrancy Bars (specifically the Green Synergy and Chocolate). They are about $2.40 a piece at Lori's Natural Foods in Henrietta, and have 200 calories. So, don't just add them to your day----substitute them in for something else!

I am also trying the drink powders this week---they sell single serving and also the big containers of the stuff.

I'm pasting the Guiding Principles here because I think you should read it! Don't get overwhelmed---this is suggesting best-case-scenario. Pick some things you could do in your life, and don't worry that it's not perfect... you don't have to buy the Vega products to work towards meeting these principles!

Guiding Principles
Quite often the simplest solution is the best one. Over the past 50 years, however, our Western culture has managed to complicate matters concerning diet and its relation to health. Obesity and malnourishment exist simultaneously while the over-consumption of calorie-rich but nutrient-poor foods drain our energy. To make matters worse, we treat obesity with drugs and fad diets and combat fatigue with refined carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine. These are short-term solutions that eventually render us energy depleted, over-stimulated, chronically stressed and vulnerable to illness and premature aging.

So what can we do to address this problem? Today, many health experts believe the solution is to consume primarily plant-based whole foods; pure and simple as nature intended. Whole foods support all the requirements of a healthy body system, from absorption to elimination.
The challenge with whole foods has always been their relative inconvenience to prepare, compared to the gamut of fast food offerings so readily available to us. Born of the belief that one should not have to compromise between whole food goodness and fast food convenience, Vega was created with the following principles in mind:

Plant-based whole foods are the true future of optimal health
"Eat your fruits and vegetables." This is one of the most tried and true recommendations for a healthy diet. Plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, enzymes, fiber and phytonutrients and countless studies support their many health benefits. Vega is made exclusively from plant-based whole foods.

Raw, alkalinizing foods are the best defense against illness and disease
In stark contrast to processed food, raw plant-based whole foods foster an alkaline environment within the body, an ideal platform upon which optimal health can be built. The main cause of all illness and disease stems from the disruption of pH balance in the body. Raw, alkaline foods help neutralize acid in our diet to promote healthy pH balance. Vega is slightly alkaline (pH of 7.2), similar to human blood (pH 7.4).

Nutrient density is more important than calories
Once the body is supplied with the nourishment it needs, cravings will cease. Consuming nutrient dense whole foods is a healthy way to naturally reduce caloric intake resulting in the creation of a stronger, leaner body. Vega is very nutrient dense, yet low in calories.

Food should provide energy, not drain it
Ease of assimilation is a key benefit of wholesome, natural food. The less energy the body must spend on digestion and assimilation, the more it will retain. Enzyme rich to conserve energy upon digestion, Vega offers superior net energy gain.

Food should energize through nourishment, not stimulation
Refined foods, sugar and caffeine "˜lend' temporary energy by stimulating the adrenal glands, creating a brief increase in energy levels but eventually resulting in fatigue. Vega contain an ideal balance of essential fatty acids, fiber and low glycemic carbohydrates to provide a constant, enduring supply of energy through nourishment, not stimulation, resulting in improved performance, mental clarity and enhanced ability to burn body fat.

Avoid common allergens to reduce food sensitivities
Many people, whether they know it or not, have sensitivities to foods that are abundant in the modern diet; commonly resulting in headaches, mild flu-like symptoms, low energy, and difficulty shedding body fat. Clean and green, Vega is free of most common allergens including artificial sweeteners, corn, dairy, gluten, soy, wheat and yeast.

It is possible to grow a younger body
Regular exercise to break down body tissue, coupled with premium, whole food nutrition to rebuild it is what keeps us biologically young. Depending on activity level, six to eight months from now your body will have regenerated almost all of its tissue at the cellular level. It will literally be made up of what you eat between now and then. Supply your body with premium building blocks such as those found in Vega and the result can literally be a healthier, younger body.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Be Wordy

I've been reading a book by Anthony Robbins that was written around the year 1990. It talks about how to be successful and maximize your results and approach to life---and its a little funny to read his 1990 perspective on pop culture and current events examples (he talked about going to the movies with his wife to watch Ghost).

A lot of what he says really applies to how to improve your lifestyle and behaviors.

He says that most of our lives are conducted on autopilot---and to change, we not only have to come off autopilot consciously, but we also have to re-train all the neural pathways that lead us to the choices we make day after day. We guide our choices by the concepts of pleasure (trying to gain it) or pain (trying to reduce it). This is similar to the concepts of punishment and reward, but he really emphasizes that we need to not just try and will our way through change, but use strategies that will help lessen the strength of the neural pathways over time. We also need to work on breaking and interrupting our autopilot patterns.

One of the concepts he talks about that really interested me had to do with choosing our words. He gave the example of himself and two colleagues being in a situation where they were being screwed in a business deal. He was feeling very angry and upset, colleague #1 described himself as furious and enraged (and had the red face and bulging forehead veins to match), and colleague #2 was annoyed and peeved (sitting and observing calmly). As he assessed the situation, he realized that the way in which each person described their feelings was related to the intensity of how they felt. The way they felt was determined by their perception of how they could possibly avoid pain and gain pleasure (one thought he would better control the situation if he was seriously mad and the other thought he would make better choices if he remained in control of his emotions).

This seems like common sense, but what Anthony did next was try an experiment with himself (you know that's right up my alley!). He wanted to choose words that would affect his emotions and mental state rather than letting it occur the other way around. He thought the word "peeved" was sort of funny and ridiculous, so he began using that as a descriptor whenever he was becoming irritated. He found that instead of becoming enraged, just saying the word peeved lessened his intensity of feelings. It changed the entire tone of situations he was in.

So in relation to wellness----how do you describe yourself? What words do you choose as you talk about your attempts at lifestyle change? Are you frustrated about having trouble losing weight? Can you change the words you use to describe it that will alter the way you feel?

The bottom line is that whether you feel positively or not, the outside world is still going to keep being the same outside world---but if you can stop getting mad at traffic or the person in the 7 items or less lane who has 22 items, you just feel better. The world doesn't necessarily change, but you feel better. The long-term result is that the better you feel, the better decisions you have the capability to make.

Identify a negative descriptor you use frequently (i.e. hate, furious, depressed, etc.), and think of a more mild or silly substitute. Make an effort to replace the word and see what happens. I have a friend who really despises her admin job--and she can easily fall into the habit of saying she hates her job and she's miserable in it. Instead, I get emails from her talking about how she has a goal of working in a job where there is more tomfoolery and shenanigans....which language pattern of hers do you think makes her feel better (given that right now the admin job itself is not changing)?

Our language has somewhere between 500,000 and 750,000 words in it (more than any other), but the average person uses between 2000 and 10,000. If you look in a thesaurus, you'll find significantly more negative words than positive. It seems worth the effort to make our words more positive--even if it just helps a little, it's a pretty easy thing to do!