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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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