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Archive for September, 2010

10 Rules To Be Brilliant

This post — 10 Rules for Brilliant Women — at The Huffington Post is geared toward women, but the rules apply to everyone, regardless of gender.

In her introduction, Tara Sophia Mohr writes that she works with many brilliant women, but

Most of the time, they don’t know their brilliance. They are certain they “aren’t ready” to take on that next bigger role. They are more attuned to the ways they aren’t qualified than to the ways that they are. They are waiting for someone to validate or discover them. Sound familiar?

I love these rules, which include things like supporting yourself like you are your own best friend, envisioning your dreams, suppressing your inner critic, letting go of needing to be liked (that’s a tough one for me), and telling other women that they are brilliant.

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At the Healthy Highway blog, in a post that was adapted from Michelle Schoffro Cook’s The Life Force Diet discusses seven reasons that pomegranates are so great for you:

1.  They are anti-cancer powerhouses.  Studies show protection again breast and lung cancers and a slowing of prostate cancer progression.

2.  They protect your DNA.  Compounds in pomegranates also appear to interact with the body’s genetic material for protection.

3.  They reduce the effects of aging.  Pomegranates are packed with the antioxidant vitamin C—antioxidants help counter free radicals linked to aging and disease.

4.  Pomegranates also contain the healing phytonutrients polyphenols and ellagic acid.

5.  Pomegranate has been shown to be beneficial for osteoarthritis.

6.  Pomegranate may help protect against heart disease by preventing plaque build-up.  Pomegranate also lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raises HDL cholesterol (the good one).  In people with high blood pressure, research shows that drinking only 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by 5%.

7.  It may prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, mice that were bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease accumulated significantly less amyloid plaque and performed better on mental tasks than control mice.

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Here’s another great article in the New York Times about a doctor who understands the importance of healthy food to good health. His name is Dr. Preston Maring and he believes that “in the health professions, the kitchen must become as crucial as the clinic. Food is at the center of health and illness.” Dr. Maring also has a blog, Dr. Maring’s Farmers’ Market and Recipe Update, where he offers recipes and advice on meal planning and budgeting.

It is great to see an accomplished medical doctor taking on the challenges of incorporating a healthy diet into an effective medical prescription. This is especially important, according to the  NYTimes article, because the federal government has identified obesity as the nation’s greatest public-health threat and has recognized the relationship of fast food (and physical inactivity) to unhealthy weight gain.

I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did. And check out Dr. Maring’s blog.

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Finally, researchers have proved what I (and probably you) have known all along: getting a massage regularly is really important to one’s sanity and health. In this article in the New York Times, researchers found that “a single session of massage caused biological changes.”

Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.

Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

So now when you are debating with yourself: should I really spend the money to get a massage? Should I try to fit it into my hectic schedule? Is it really worth it? The answer is YES: not only do you deserve it, you NEED it!

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Articles like this one — 4 ingredients that sound healthier than they really are (and 4 that sound scary but aren’t) — are precisely why I love the Eating Well blogs. Michelle Edelbaum shares that the following four ingredients are not really healthy, and why:

1. Fruit juice concentrates

2. Soybean Oil

3. Palm Oil

4. Wheat flour (as opposed to WHOLE wheat flour)

And then lists and explains the following four ingredients, which may sound like unhealthy chemicals, but aren’t:

1. Inulin

2. Ascorbic Acid

3. Xanthan gum

4. Maltodextrin

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In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin outlines Four Splendid Truths about life and happiness. The third of these truths is “The days are long but the years are short.”

Courtesy of Photos8.com

This is so true. A friend of mine talked about a similar concept in relation to parenthood. She told me “never wish for the next phase.” A relative of mine used to do this. When his daughter was a little baby, he wished she were older and more able to move around because then she would be more fun. When she was a toddler, her wished she were a little older so that she could carry on a conversation because then she would be more interesting. This attitude continued, until now when his daughter is sixteen, he finally realizes that he has missed a lot of the fun and she is no longer interested because he never found her interesting.

We need to relish each stage of life, even the miserable ones, because they all pass, which also means time is passing.

You can see a short one-minute movie by Gretchen Rubin about her third Splendid Truth by clicking here.

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How to Discover Your Superpowers

At Work Happy Now, coach and blogger Karl Staib discusses what he calls “superpowers.” Now I really like this concept of having superpowers. That sounds like a fun life!

So what is a superpower and how do you find yours? According to Karl, superpowers have three requirements: passion, focus, and strength:

Passion

The intrinsic motivation behind your actions is passion. If you find yourself constantly forcing yourself to take action, then this isn’t passion; it’s fake. Doing work you’re passionate about should easily put you into motion. …

Focus

The amount of time you can spend focusing on a project will determine how much you get accomplished. If you can’t stay focused for very long, you’ll never develop the skill to be successful. …

Strengths

Each skill that you have must produce quality results, otherwise it’s not a strength.

For example, almost anyone can write. In order for it to be considered a strength it must be something that other people notice because your skill stands out. …

Your passions come from your subconscious, your focus is all about your ability to stay in the present moment, and your strengths are determined by the results you produce and the way others perceive those results.

Writing is definitely one of my superpowers. I always enjoy writing and never find it difficult to do. I can write for hours — like eight straight hours — and never realize that I have been writing for that long. And usually I get really good feedback on my writing and people come to me for writing assignments and projects.

I want to spend some more time thinking about what other superpowers I may have. Then maybe I can be a superHERO!

What are your superpowers?!

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When I was in college, my good friend and I had a phrase we used to refer to certain people: “Drain People.” We used it to describe the people in our lives (usually a boyfriend) who sucked the life out of us. In other words, someone who took a lot from us but gave very little in return. We borrowed the phrase from Tony Robbins, who encouraged us to avoid Drain People at all costs.

I saw a recent post at ThoughtfulLaw.com on the same topic. It discusses the same kinds of people from an organizational stand point:

In theory, every person on your team is a source of energy for your organization. But in reality, some team members create energy while others sap or destroy energy. If you know your team well, you already know which team members are sappers and which ones are the energizers.

High-energy performers test the limits and spur themselves and others on to even greater results. These are the people who will push you up and add energy to your reservoir. They spark others to perform. It’s fun to watch them in action. A team full of energized people is typically easy to motivate but challenging to manage because their high energy level requires constant direction and focus.

At the other end of the spectrum are the sappers. You know who they are – they complain and whine, and think of every reason possible why plans and strategies will not work. They are the people who pull you down and sap your energy. They blame others for their issues and don’t accept responsibility for what they control. Their negativity and cynicism effectively sucks out the energy right out of the room. A team dominated by energy sappers is relatively easy to lead because there is little forward movement or activity. But it is very challenging to motivate these team members to achieve results because they are content with mediocrity.

Your organizational energy is not the sum of your individuals. It is dependent on the ratio of energizers to sappers. If you have more sappers than energizers, the energy will be drained, and in fact the energizers may eventually become sappers. As unfortunate as it is, a negative, cynical person has a far greater impact on the energy of the team than a positive person. Adding a positive person does not counter a sapper; in fact it probably takes at least three energizers to counter the energy drained by one sapper ….

Based on: Cottrell, D. (2009). Monday Morning Motivation: Five Steps to Energize Your Team, Customers, and Profits. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

What are you? An energizer or a sapper? What do you want to be?

And what kind of people do you have around you? Are there any “drain people” that you may need to move away from in order to have the life you want?

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I found a new blog that I think is fantastic. It’s called Owning Pink. It’s a site dedicated to helping people, especially women, believe that they are special and beautiful.

I found a recent post entitled Embracing My Fragmented Life interesting. A guest blogger named Caren Schmidt discusses how she feels her life is fragmented because her work is not in line with her values. This is a dilemma that I have faced in my life and am always intrigued by how much our work affects the rest of our lives, especially when our work is not in line with our values.

I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did.

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25 Best Nutrition Secrets

Here’s a great post by David Zinczenko, author of the Eat This, Not That! series of books and a blog, giving you 25 quick and easy tips for eating healthy foods that are yummy. These secrets include:

2. Keep serving dishes off the table. Researchers have found that when people are served individual plates, as opposed to empty plates with a platter of food in the middle of the table, they eat up to 35 percent less!

5. Eat protein at every meal. Dieters who eat the most protein tend to lose more weight while feeling less deprived than those who eat the least protein. It appears that protein is the best nutrient for jumpstarting your metabolism, squashing your appetite, and helping you eat less at subsequent meals.

10. Turn off the TV. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts found that people who watch TV during a meal consume, on average, 288 more calories than those who don’t eat with the tube on.

17. Sleep 8 hours a night. Too much or too little shut-eye can add extra pounds, say Wake Forest University researchers.

21. Go ahead, eat your favorite foods. Good eating doesn’t need to be about deprivation—it’s about making smart choices. Why eat a 1,000-calorie cheeseburger if a 500-calorie burger will satisfy you just the same? The bottom line: Eat foods that you enjoy, just not too much of them.

The remainder of the secrets are just as easy to incorporate into your daily eating habits.

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