A Look at the Mediterranean Diet

09Each day this week, I am going to take a different aspect of the Mediterranean Diet and give it a closer look.  I’m going to talk about things like what it is, is it possible to lose weight on a Mediterranean diet, the fat issue, and the history and science behind it.

The Mediterranean Diet is of course a diet that involves emulating the way that people eat in the Mediterranean. The diet became popular when it was found that people who ate a Mediterranean Diet actually lived longer and experienced a lower incidence of heart disease and other issues.

At first this surprised researchers – after all, the Mediterranean Diet mainly consists of eating fats (olive oil and cheese) and wine! These are things that were traditionally thought to be bad for us.

Upon further research, it happens that in moderation – and when combined with a nutrient rich diet – they can actually be beneficial.

So what exactly is this nutrient rich diet? How do you eat like a Mediterranean? What foods are on the menu? Let’s take a look…

Salads Continue reading →

Did That Harvard Goals Study Really Happen?

stock-photos-v2-004-020“”So after I wrote the last blog post on the Harvard goals study I was doing some more research and came across a Yale study from 1959. As I started reading that study…it started to become more and more clear to me that these were very likely the exact same “studies”. One of the reasons I thought this is because the results were uncanny in their similarities. I suppose it’s possible that the results of two different studies done 20 years apart could be the same, but the probability of that is very unlikely.

The second thing that hit me as more than just a little bit odd or off, was when I checked out the copy write of the book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, it was copy written in 1986, three years before the follow-up study.

I’m not saying that my take on that book, or the things I learned about goal setting that I wrote about in that last blog post, I’m just saying that after further investigation, I’m questioning the fact that the study ever really happened.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

What do Written Goals Have to do With Success?

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Goals! Do you set them? Should you set them? If you do set goals, are they written down somewhere, or do you just have them in your head? Are they only for people who are in business?
I’ve never been the kind of person to set goals. Oh yeah, I always come out with “resolutions” when the New Year rolls around, but actual goals? I never really thought that they were important.
This year I started something new. Ever since January 1st, 2016, I have been writing down all of my goals, personal, business and financial goals, on a chart that I have up on the wall in my office

Continue reading →

Helpful Hints to Take the Stress Out of the Holidays

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Does the Holiday Season make you feel like you’re running on empty? Instead of looking forward to the holidays, do you find yourself with feelings of dread instead of joy?

Stress…we’ve all felt it at one time or another, but did you know that the Christmas holidays have also been called the season of stress? One of the major causes of Christmas stress is not planning the holiday in advance, so that when the day draws closer, you feel caught off guard.

We’ve all seen the Hallmark commercials, and the Christmas movies guaranteed to put a lump in your throat and bring tears to your eyes. We’ve been moved by the beauty in snow-covered Christmas scenes, marveled at Christmas displays, and we’ve felt that funny little catch in our hearts as we think about what our friends and family mean to us, in this, the season of giving.

As a result of all this glitz, sparkle, perfect Christmas scenes and shows, we develop an unrealistic picture of what the holidays should be and how they should be celebrated.

Year after year, we swear we’re going to get an earlier start, we’re going to plan ahead, and yet each year Christmas is the same frantic holiday, complete with a break-neck pace of buying, wrapping, (in my house this usually happens on Christas Eve), cooking, baking and parties, all guaranteed to over-extend our time and nerves.

If you’re dreading the overwhelming tasks ahead of you this holiday season, don’t despair. You can have the kind of Christmas you want without raising your blood pressure and without becoming so tired you feel like you just can’t function. You need a game plan to map out the holiday step-by-step, and I can help you with that game plan.

To help keep your holidays a little less stressful, try these helpful hints:

  • Narrow your focus. Spend time and energy on what matters most to you and your family.
  • Learn to delegate chores. You can’t clean the whole house, cook the food, and do all the baking.  Enlist family members to help you.
  • Get organized. Make a master checklist. You’ll save time if you don’t have to constantly search for what you need or keep running to the store for forgotten items.
  • Set a spending limit and stick to it! No one wants you to go into debt to buy them presents. Get creative with gifts. Homemade gifts or gift certificates for special things throughout the year. Like a free car wash for dad or making dinner for mom or sister.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget to take some time out for you! Draw yourself a nice bath, lock the door and just unwind for an hour. Taking a few minutes for yourself will do so much for your sanity and lessening your stress level.

 

*This article is an excerpt from my holiday book An Old Fashioned Christmas.

 

DIY Lip Balm Recipe

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I have always been a huge user of Chapstick. I tried all kinds of other lip balms but never found any that I liked. I really hated when Chapstick changed their formula, but didn’t like any of the alternatives until….I decided to set out to make my own. I checked out different recipes that I found online, but hit upon my own concoction. So following is the recipe that I came up with, and I will never go back to Chapstick or any other store bought lip balm ever again!

All of my ingredients are organic, but yours doesn’t have to be.

Materials:

  • 1 tablespoon beeswax (1/2 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter (1 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (1 oz) I use the extra coconut oil for cooking. There are quite a few health benefits of coconut oil, but I’ll save that for another day. 😉
  • 20-25 drops of good essential oils ( I used Peppermint for Christmas gifts, but
  • Medicine syringe (If you don’t have one lying around the house, you can get one pretty cheap on Amazon here.
  • 10-15 empty chapstick containers (I paid a little more for the white ones, because I liked them better than the clear ones. But the clear would work just as well.)
  • Printable Address Labels, optional (I used Avery 5160 for my labels.)

Directions:

  1. Get all of your empty chapstick containers ready to fill.
  2. Melt the beeswax in a small saucepan, over low heat.
  3. Add the shea butter and coconut oil and stir until melted.
  4. When the beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil is completely melted, add the essential oil.
  5. With the pan still on the stove, use the medicine syringe to fill your chapstick containers with about one teaspoon of the melted liquid.  (You need to keep the pan on the stove because the beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil will cool and harden very quickly after being taken off of the heat.) I have also found that if you pour the liquid in a circular direction around the little spindle in the middle of the chapstick container, you get a much nicer stick of lip balm.
  6. Be sure to fill all the way to the top, you want your lip balm tops to look pretty and rounded.
  7. Let the lip balm cool completely before adding the caps.
  8. Label with the Avery address labels if desired.

This recipe will make between 10-15 homemade lip balms.

Recipe – Cucumber Cooler

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This is a very refreshing drink on a hot summer day! And it’s very good for you too!

Half of a cucumber, halved lengthways

3 carrots, peeled
3 celery stalks, tops trimmed off

Tip: Fruit juices are great for overall health. At first it takes a little time to get used to the taste, but eventually you’ll get there…. Just think of all those health benefits! Another tip is to mix your fruit juice with a little natural apple juice (juice apples along with the veggies) to give it a sweeter taste.

Juice according to juice instructions and enjoy!

Fruit & Veggie Facts:

Cucumbers are a strong diuretic and may help lower blood pressure. Perfect for when you’re retaining water.
Celery contains compounds called pthalides which helps regular blood pressure. Also a good diuretic.
Carrots are great for the skin and eyes.

Recipe – Easy Lunch-Time Chicken Stix

Chicken

 

This recipe is great for school lunches, just remember to use a cold pack so that they don’t spoil.

3 to 4 lbs. chicken tenders (If you don’t have chicken tenders, boneless skinless chicken breasts will work also, just cut into strips)
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
dash salt and pepper
1 Tbsp cooking oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
If the chicken tenders are too wide, cut in half, so you have strips about 1 inch wide.
Note: you can also use regular boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips.
In a large bowl, whisk together the seasonings and oil.
Add the chicken strips to the spice mixture and toss until chicken is well coated.
Remove the chicken and arrange in single layer on large baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. The time will depend on how thinly you sliced the chicken strips.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
These may be chilled, then packaged up for a picnic, or may be served warm or at room temperature.

Get Into Nature!

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My two youngest granddaughters climbing around on a tree that blew down in a storm on our property.

 

I heard a commercial on the radio the other day about getting your kids back into nature. On the commercial, the son came out of his room and when he spoke to the father, he sounded like a video game. The daughter came out of her room and same thing…her voice was all distorted as well. I don’t remember exactly who paid for the commercial, but the gist of it was get your kids unplugged and get out into nature.

Richard Louv, in his book “Last Child in the Woods“, coined the term Continue reading →

10 Super Duper, Super Foods You Should be Eating and Why!

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The food you eat can either kill you or cure you! Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said it first…Let Food by thy Medicine! It’s the tagline of this blog and my coaching practice.

Another doctor, less famous asked this question; “Do you know that more people commit suicide with their knife and fork than with any other implement?”

So if food is medicine, then what are Continue reading →

Marinated Chicken and Bell Pepper Wraps

This healthy wrap is enhanced by the lime juice marinade. Low on fat but high on taste this sandwich will ensure a healthy lunch for the entire family. Use any type of bell peppers you like including yellow, orange or even purple. The colorful vegetables help when it comes to feeding vegetables to our children.

Marinated Chicken and Bell Pepper Wraps Continue reading →