Friday, March 30, 2012

The Easiest Weight Loss/Maintenance Tip Ever

I found the following on Kimberly Snyder's blog and thought it was a great tip to share.....

The Easiest Weight Loss/Maintenance Tip Ever

With a title like that, you’re probably expecting something really profound. Well, they say the most profound things in life are really simple. And so is this tip: Drink as little water and other liquids as possible during your meals. Why???

Well I remember reading the yogi Master Paramanhansa Yogananda say that if you need to gain weight, drink lots of water with your meals, and when you want to lose or maintain weight, of course do the opposite…drink less with meals. Hmmmmm. In college and for a few years after I always used to down water with my meals, thinking that I would get more full and therefore eat less. But I started researching this idea deeper, especially after my travels to India.

There is scientific theory to back up the idea of drinking less with meals. Large amounts of water and liquids impede the digestive process by diluting gastric juices, such as hydrochloric acid. Many people are already deficient in digestive acids to start, due to their diet. You also dilute the digestive enzymes your body needs for the effective digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Yes, so much of easy weight loss has to do with ease of digestion and properly breaking down foods! When these juices, acids, and enzymes are diluted, you can experience bloating, abdominal distension after meals (NOT pleasant! And not particularly attractive- especially if you are having dinner before going out!), and can have a hard time losing weight and/or maintaining your ideal weight.

Water is a truly a miracle from nature. We are so blessed to have access to clean drinking water that keeps our bodies and its fluids functioning optimally and removes toxins and waste products. But try to drink large quantities of this miracle liquid at least 20 minutes on either side of a meal, and sip only during meals. Cheers! Here’s to your healthy and more effortlessly slimmed down body!

(For the science nerds like me, here is a supportive study: In 1910, a study was done on people that drank 3 liters of water with meals for five days in a row. The findings showed: An increase in body weight of an average of two pounds in the five days; increased amount of excretion of urinary nitrogen; increased output of ammonia, due to an increased output of gastric juice; and a decrease in the quantity of bacteria excreted daily.)

The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time

The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time

Tony Schwartz

Tony Schwartz

Tony Schwartz is the president and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of Be Excellent at Anything. Become a fan of The Energy Project on Facebook and connect with Tony at and

Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work?
It's not just the number of hours we're working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.

What we've lost, above all, are stopping points, finish lines and boundaries. Technology has blurred them beyond recognition. Wherever we go, our work follows us, on our digital devices, ever insistent and intrusive. It's like an itch we can't resist scratching, even though scratching invariably makes it worse.

Tell the truth: Do you answer email during conference calls (and sometimes even during calls with one other person)? Do you bring your laptop to meetings and then pretend you're taking notes while you surf the net? Do you eat lunch at your desk? Do you make calls while you're driving, and even send the occasional text, even though you know you shouldn't?

The biggest cost — assuming you don't crash — is to your productivity. In part, that's a simple consequence of splitting your attention, so that you're partially engaged in multiple activities but rarely fully engaged in any one. In part, it's because when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you're increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 per cent.

But most insidiously, it's because if you're always doing something, you're relentlessly burning down your available reservoir of energy over the course of every day, so you have less available with every passing hour.

I know this from my own experience. I get two to three times as much writing accomplished when I focus without interruption for a designated period of time and then take a real break, away from my desk. The best way for an organization to fuel higher productivity and more innovative thinking is to strongly encourage finite periods of absorbed focus, as well as shorter periods of real renewal.

If you're a manager, here are three policies worth promoting:
1. Maintain meeting discipline. Schedule meetings for 45 minutes, rather than an hour or longer, so participants can stay focused, take time afterward to reflect on what's been discussed, and recover before the next obligation. Start all meetings at a precise time, end at a precise time, and insist that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting.
2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day. It forces your people into reactive mode, fractures their attention, and makes it difficult for them to sustain attention on their priorities. Let them turn off their email at certain times. If it's urgent, you can call them — but that won't happen very often.
3. Encourage renewal. Create at least one time during the day when you encourage your people to stop working and take a break. Offer a midafternoon class in yoga, or meditation, organize a group walk or workout, or consider creating a renewal room where people can relax, or take a nap.

It's also up to individuals to set their own boundaries. Consider these three behaviors for yourself:
1. Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time. If possible, work in a private space during this period, or with sound-reducing earphones. Finally, resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you'll be. When you're done, take at least a few minutes to renew.
2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. If you don't, you'll constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent. Also, find a different environment in which to do this activity — preferably one that's relaxed and conducive to open-ended thinking.
3. Take real and regular vacations. Real means that when you're off, you're truly disconnecting from work. Regular means several times a year if possible, even if some are only two or three days added to a weekend. The research strongly suggests that you'll be far healthier if you take all of your vacation time, and more productive overall.

A single principle lies at the heart of all these suggestions. When you're engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods of time. When you're renewing, truly renew. Make waves. Stop living your life in the gray zone.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Voice 2 : Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You

I cannot stop watching/listening to this performance today!  I'm doing more listening than watching because, of course, I'm at work and don't want any trouble.

However, I remember when I saw this on "The Voice" the other week and randomly looked it up this morning.  When I first saw this performance on TV, I was jumping around the house like a crazy person.  I love, love, love Jesse Campbell's voice.....  However, I also love this performance of them together.  Anthony sings like a preacher's son.....with all the riffs but also loads of feeling in his singing.  Jesse....his talent is just crazy!  I had to post this on Twitter and Facebook too because I am slowly becoming obsessed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kicking It Up A Notch!

That’s it!  I tried to take this change in my diet slowly, but I must be a little hastier.  I am going full vegan with a large portion of my diet becoming raw food.
Let me explain.  Over a month ago, I stopped using deodorant because I kept getting these lumps under my arm.  I went to the doctor and she felt that perhaps it was an infection, which can come from microscopic openings left under my arm from shaving and deodorant, sweat or other bacteria getting caught in the openings and getting infected.  My doctor prescribed antibiotics and told me to try resting steaming rags under my underarms from time to time to help clear out any clogged pores or impurities.  I’ve been too afraid to return to deodorant once the lumps disappeared, so have resorted to pouring baby powder under my arms each morning.  I even have one of those facial puffs that I put powder on, and then pat my underarms, when I have a little more time and don’t want to make a mess.
Fast forward to Sunday.  Out of nowhere, I developed a pimple-like thing on my left inner thigh.  By nightfall, it had a huge white top and I developed a similar structure on the left side of my upper lip.  I popped both and put acne medication on them before I went to bed.  However, by morning, they were both back and bigger than ever.  Ugh!!!!!!   So, anyway, by the end of the day, my leg bump had burst due to the constant friction it had to endure under my pants all day.  The lip pimple was alive and thriving.  After I washed my face last night, I put the acne medication on my lip bump again and then was so desperate that I also put toothpaste on the bump to try and dry it up.  By morning, the very middle of the white head of the bump seemed to by dryer, but overall the bump was thriving.  I couldn’t go back to work another day with this stupid thing on my lip, so I popped it, cleaned it and put some stuff on it.  Needless to say, now it looks like I had a cold sore, instead of a pimple.  Smh!  Soooo embarrassing.
Fast Forward to 10:00am this morning.  I looked down and low and behold this exact same pesky pimple-like bump has appeared on my left forearm.  WTH! My forearm?  I don’t sweat or produce loads of oil on my forearm.  Why would I get this pimple there?
Well, I decided to do what any self-respecting person would do under my circumstances……I took to Google and looked up white puss bump….or something like that.  What I came up with is that perhaps this is some kind of boil or staph/bacterial infection on my skin.  They make it very clear online that while your doctor can prescribe antibiotics; these types of bacteria often become resistant to medications.  The best way to fight this (assuming that my hypochondriatic conclusions are right) is to change your diet and hygiene.  Well, my hygiene’s pretty good.  I don’t even touch bathroom doors when I’m exiting them in public restrooms and I always wash.  My research also revealed that meat products and processed foods also contribute to these infections.  Removing those items from your diet has been proven to be successful to both treat and combat these infections……as well as a thorough detox.
So…….forget my 12-step program to better health and detox.  I am starting it all (or at least most) today!!!!!  ….or tomorrow.  I love my life and me too much to take any more chances.  And if it is determined that I never had a staph infection and these are just pimples, it doesn’t matter.  I will be healthier, have more energy, clearer skin, etc., etc.   J  God Bless America!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Our March 10th book club meeting has just ended and I am riding on the train home, from Rahway.  The book we chose to read was long (over 400 pages) and very difficult to read, due to the large amounts of difficult words.  Only the host completed the book.

Anywho, while some people could not complete the book due to its ridiculous vocabulary, those that came close were absolutely obsessed with it.

Me....I found it absolutely intriguing.  Actually, although I didn't want to admit it, I actually loved it and as disturbing as this might sound, I could relate to it.....alot.

Book: We Need To Talk About Kevin
Author: Lionel Shriver
Synopsis: In this gripping novel of motherhood gone awry, Lionel Shriver approaches the tragedy of a high-school massacre from the point of view of the killer's mother.In letters written to the boy's father, mother Eva probes the upbringing of this more-than-difficult child and reveals herself to have been the reluctant mother of an unsavory son. As the schisms in her family unfold, we draw closer to an unexpected climax that holds breathtaking surprises and its own hard-won redemption.

I am still in the process of reading the book, but this is one concept that really stood out to me.....and intrigued me.  I found myself go back to it 3 times and pondering over it in my head.

Example #1: Underfear
Underfear is the fear that you won't actually fear something fearful or something tragic or anything that would cause any human being to have a highly emotive reaction.  It's the fear lying under your fear that someone close to you will die tragically.
It is the fear that undermines your fear that you will be hurt beyond compare and unable to handle the amount of grief and despair or emotions a certain circumstance will bring.  It is the fear that there will be no grief and no despair.  No emotion at all....just indifference.  It is the underfear.

Book excerpt:
Up until April 11, 1983, I had flattered myself that I was an exceptional person.  but since Kevin's birth I have come to suppose that we are all profoundly normative.  (For that matter, thinking of one's self as exceptional is probably more the rule than not.)  We have explicit expectations of ourselves in specific situations---beyond expectations; they are requirements. 
Some of these are small: If we are given a surprise party, we will be delighted.
Others are sizable: If a parent dies, we will be grief-stricken.  But perhaps in tandem with these expectations is the private fear that we will fail convention in the crunch.  That we will receive the fateful phone call and our mother is dead and we feel nothing. 
I wonder if this quiet, unutterable little fear is even keener than the fear of the bad news itself: that we will discover ourselves to be monstrous. 
If it does not seem to shocking, for the duration of our marriage I lived with one terror: that if something happened to you it would break me.  But there was always an odd shadow, an underfear, if you will, that it would not---that I would swing off blithely that afternoon to play squash.

Friday, March 2, 2012



Sorry, I wasn’t able to send this out sooner.  I intended to send this out of Sunday, but with my 2-year wedding anniversary on Monday and my grandmother’s funeral on Tuesday, I was quite inundated with several pressing issues.

Anywho, the second stage of my nutrition and detox plan is called “Hydration and Supplementation”

STAGE I encouraged everyone to start their morning off with hot water and freshly squeezed lemon and highlighted the benefits of lemons, in general.

STAGE II will provide an outline for the need for liquids (hydration) and supplementation (vitamins/supplements) in your diet, as well as providing guidelines on what to drink and when.

As previously mentioned, you should start your morning off with a mug of hot water and freshly squeezed lemon.

The next thing that should enter your mouth is a tall glass of water (if it includes lemon, even better).  This is also a good time to take your first daily dose of vitamins.  Have you been to the doctor’s lately?  Is your iron low?  Are you unsure?  If you are unsure, it is a good idea to take a multivitamin as a bit of insurance.  Other supplements, such as iron or folic acid are also recommended if you are anemic, have heavy periods, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

I would also like to suggest that you begin taking probiotics (if you aren’t already).  Probiotics will help you begin to build healthy flora in your intestines, strengthening your immune system and helping rid you of toxins that build up in your intestines.  Most yogurts contain live probiotic cultures.  However, most people are lactose intolerant and our bodies have difficult times correctly digesting the dairy in yogurt, so a probiotic supplement is a great alternative.

Hydrate: Your body needs water to function. Staying hydrated is essential, and drinking water is the best way to do it. Water helps flush toxins out of your system and keeps your mucous membranes moist, which can prevent cold and flu germs from adhering inside your nose or lungs. The amount your body needs is dependent on many factors, including your activity levels and the kind of food you eat. For instance, salads, fruits and raw veggies contain a lot of water. A general rule though, is that you need at least a half-ounce of water per pound of body weight to stay hydrated. Just remember to drink water between meals, not with them.  Try to not to drink less than 20 minutes before eating, as this can  dilutes digestive enzymes, slows digestion and causes bloating.  Also, allow your body to absorb the nutrients in the food you are eating by waiting at least 60 minutes after you eat to drink anything.

Aside from the cup of hot water with lemon you begin your day with and the filtered water you drink throughout the day, here are some other suggestions of things that will keep you hydrated.
-          Green Juice: Thirsty? If you have a juicer you can juice a mix of green vegetables and various fruits for lots of liquid packed with the bonus of antioxidants, enzymes and minerals!
-          Coconut water: Contains lots of potassium and minerals, and very hydrating. Comes in convenient recloseable cartons also!
-          Iced herbal teas: Right now my favorite is peach rooibos, which I have been drinking a ton of here in hot New Orleans during this film! Herbal iced teas add great flavor, antioxidants, and doesn’t have the caffeine of iced green or black tea. I drink mine unsweetened, bu you could sweeten yours up with stevia if you like!
-          Watermelon: At around 92% water, watermelon is so juicy! Remember you can hydrate with fruit! But in keeping with our blog heading, the way to  make this is a drink is to simply blend it with a bit of cold water, then you have a great watermelon smoothie to sip on at your desk!
-          A Green Smoothie contains a mix of green vegetables and various fruits, is incredibly hydrating, and the fiber keeps you full and energized, so you won’t need so many dehydrating caffeine-filled beverages. This can be made in a high-powered blender or brought from places like Jamba Juice or Smoothie King.  Naked also produces a gently pasteurized smoothie called Green Machine ($0.49 cents at Target this week with a printed coupon available online).

Drinks to avoid are:
-          Tap water: I rank tap water pretty high upon the avoid list, since it is full of chlorine, heavy metals and contaminates, and trace prescription meds that aren’t all filtered out at the water processing plants. Get yourself a good water filter!
-          Artificial sweeteners: We should also avoid beverages that contain any type of artificial sweeteners. Besides aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium and saccharin, also look out for chrystalline fructose, which is derived from corn.
-          Heavily pasteurized beverages: These include most every beverage that comes in bottles. Orange juice and those Odwalla smoothies are among the first thing that come to mind. I do not recommend them. They are high in sugar, acidic and their enzymes and natural nutrients have been destroyed by the high temperatures. There are different levels of pasteurization, and some products are more gently pasteurized than others, which is better b/c some of the nutrients are preserved. Coconut water is an example of a product which is gently pasteurized. It holds up pretty well, and coconut water contains important minerals versus vitamins; vitamins are more susceptible to high heat damage from pasteurization.

Probiotics: Probiotics, or good bacteria, are beneficial and very important to include in our diet. They exist in many cultures, such as in kimchi from Korea and unpasteurized kefir in Russia. Some of the many benefits of probiotics include helping to keep our systems in balance, encouraging regularity, keep toxicity in check, improve our synthesis of B Vitamins, strengthening our immunity, supporting digestion and helping to eliminate yeast issues. 

There is a coconut milk-based yogurt from a brand called So Delicous. It is dairy free and soy-free, and it tastes pretty good. It is sweetened with cane sugar, so there are no scary artificial sweeteners or agave in it.

Raw sauerkraut, kimchi and unpasteurized miso are other natural sources for probiotics.

Probiotic supplements can be expensive, so I tend to watch for coupons and discounts to maintain a good amount of probiotic supplements stocked in my house.  This week, Walgreens has Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic supplements on sale.  You purchase them for $10 and Walgreens gives you a $10 Register Rewards coupon that can be used on anything in the store.  This basically makes a 30-day supply of probiotics free.  Another good brand endorsed by Kimberly Snyder, a highly sought after nutritionist and author of the best-selling book, The Beauty Detox Solution, is the Dr. Ohhira brand.  Her website also includes in-depth details on the benefits of probiotics, as well as a recipe for a homemade Probiotic and Enzyme Salad.