Taste buds take time

A couple years back I tried to increase my vocabulary by learning a new word every day. I found that I had to say the word more than a few times before I could use the new word proficiently in a coherent sentence. It’s like we’ve always heard, practice does make perfect.

Know what? Your taste buds are just like your brain learning a new vocabulary. Trying something new will take more than one or two tries to get used to it. Or to like it. And just like so much in life, our preferences change. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you find you like after you’ve given it the old college try.

So. Let’s look at some lean protein rich foods that you might have to give a few runs at before you can truthfully exclaim, hey. That’s pretty good. And good for me too.

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Greek yogurt.

Still the best option for yogurt. Less sugar than most yogurts while packing a devastatingly delightful punch of protein. Personally, I like me some Greek yogurt smoothies. Didn’t take long for my taste buds to get used to it at all. Love at first gulp.


These unassuming nuts also give you a nice turn of Omega 3s, so I’d suggest you give ’em time if at first they don’t succeed at grabbing the snobbish attention of your stubborn and overly safe taste buds. I still haven’t totally gotten onto the wondrously wacky walnut band wagon, but they’re really nice sitting pretty on top of my Greek yogurt.

Hummus dip.

This is one that took me a while to gravitate to, but I really like this treat now, quite a lot. It’s the snack that has your back. Jack.

Salmon filets.

This one also took me a little while. Like four tries, a while. I’m one of those people who do not like anything “fishy”. First time I tried salmon was from the plate of a friend and it was very fishy. Like Capitol Letters FISHY. Didn’t try it again for a long time. However, the next time I did, I didn’t hate it, so there’s a good start, huh. Then the next time, not too bad at all, you see, my little chickadee. Now, I have salmon at least once a week. Wouldn’t miss my weekly salmon run for anything.

Chia seeds.

These guys are rich in nutrients, full of Omega 3s like you wouldn’t believe and are an excellent supply of antioxidants while being a good source for providing you with fiber, iron and calcium. Not much of a flavor to savor but on your Greek yogurt, almost a must. Just don’t think, ch,ch,ch, chia…you know the rest. Come on. Move along.

So. What’s our lesson here today at my sunny door step?

Always try something that could be very good for you, but if at first you don’t succeed, well try it, try it, try it again. Who knows what you might end up liking.

Maybe a lot. And as it’s all good for you, well worth the continued effort.

So, see you later. And keep up the good fight, by eating what’s right.



Gotta get your 7 to 9. Everyday.

7 to 9. That’s how many hours of sleep most adults need. 7 to 9 hours. Or else…or else what?

Well It’s been proven that if you don’t get your daily 7 to 9, you’re gonna have some problems cropping up throughout your day. Like?


Poor job performance. You’re tired so what’d you expect. There’s a very good reason that successful athletes always get themselves a good nights sleep. Even if it’s only their coaches ranting at them, making certain lights are out at 9PM sharp. They all know how sleep affects performance.

Then too. Your chance of irritability goes up as does the probability of depression, which goes hand in hand with relationship issues. So snapping at your coworkers to hurry up with that coffee already, won’t make you the office mensch.

Also. Odds are you’ll be eating food that’s not healthy or good for you as you try to get more energized, so obesity and the chance of high blood pressure rolls clumsily into the frame. And don’t forget, some of those energy bars really aren’t that good for you. At all.

Then also, using your memory will be more difficult. How many widgets will we need next week again? I just can’t seem to remember. Oh now I remember…I didn’t get me my 7 to 9 last night…

Not a list of things you want occurring in your daily routine.

So, what’s a person to do…

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Here are a few helpful tips to get yourself some of that 7 to 9 goodness;

First off, set a goal of at least 7 hours of sleep per night. At the least. 7 hours. And remember that even adding a small incremental amount, like say 15 minutes, can only help you more. 7 is good, but 9 is better.

Ok. Great. But spose I can’t get to sleep all that easily. Your head hits the pillow but inside, your mind just keeps on churning.

Easy peezy.

No TV, computer or smartphone usage for an hour before you go to bed. None. I mean it. Don’t make me come over there. No TV. No computer. No smartphone. For an hour before bedtime. Why? Because, my Jedi Padawan, those TV, computer and smartphone screens give off a blue light that messes around with your melatonin. So what if they do? So this. Melatonin is only THE hormone that helps you sleep. That’s so what if they do.

Ok. Great. So no screens for an hour before bed. But what do you do instead with that whole hour? It’s a whole hour.

How’s bout a warm bath. That sounds nice doesn’t it. You’ll begin to feel your muscles relax and then start getting those droopy, sleepy eyes as soon as you soothingly sink in. Nice…

Or listen to some music. Something soft and easy. No heavy stuff. Metal or otherwise. And definitely not Sousa. No Semper Fidelis before bed, if you know what’s good for you.

Or my fab/fav…read a book.

Alright then. Now.

Go to bed already. And get yourself some of that 7 to 9 sleepy goodness.

This is your brain with a good breakfast. Really.

Ok. So what’s the big wheelie deal bout breakfast.

There’s a couple of excellent reasons that breakfast is a big wheelie deal. What are they? So glad you asked.

First…breakfast takes care of all those hunger pains that you developed over that long hope-you-slept-well-night. Glad you had some sweet dreams too, because now it’s time for the busy biz-a-ness of life. And guess what. That good breakfast will help you all throughout your day.

Secondly…if you just eat breakfast regularly, chances are very good that you will be much better able to lose weight and/or maintain your weight over the long haul. How cool is that? And anything over the long haul can’t help but be a good thing. Coz. It’s a long haul.

Thirdly…breakfast feeds your brain healthy nutrients that help fuel you to a more productive morning. At least as productive as you can be till lunch.

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Ok. Cool, cool, cool. So how can you take advantage of this big breakfast, boss? Pretty simple. Foods from these following four categories will assist you, so follow me;


Try some Greek yogurt or some cottage cheese, please, with your morning chow down. Maybe even a very small amount of cheese, but remember the words, small amount.


Here we go Dean. Some lean protein. Turkey, eggs, chicken or ham. I’d probably stick Tom turkey at the very top of that list, but small amounts of the others will do that popping protein thing just fine.


Just some whole grain bread or crackers here. Even the right kind of whole grain cereal. Maybe using some mix n match skills, top it off with that Greek yogurt from our list up above or cottage cheese, please.


Fruits, veggies, oatmeal and nuts. Now with kind regards pertaining to the oatmeal, jeez please, no instant. And here we are again using our mix n match skills, chuck some crunchy nutty nuts into that Greek yogurt. Oh yeah.

So. There we go. Feeding your brain pan with all that you need to get your busy day headed in the right direction. And. Make the most of your many splendid morning. And. Get your tail all bushy and busy and bustin’ up the morning in the bam-bam best way that you can.

So. Let’s get going. We’ll see ya later for lunch.

It’s all about the Omega 3s. Please.

Omega 3 fatty acids. Doesn’t sound very appetizing does it. But in reality they are very delicious and very, very good for you. Why you may ask. Well, because they are a form of the polyunsaturated fats that are known as the healthy fats. The ones that may help you lower your risk of heart disease. Hm. They look pretty appetizing now don’t they?

Ok. Great. So what do these Omega 3s do?

They help with so many of the activities in your body that you’d need a huge book to show you them all, but at the very top of this long list are these two main important actions:

Building up cell membranes and assisting with the clotting of your blood. Now both of these two items, as we helpfully stated above, help to reduce the risk of heart failure or heart attack. And don’t forget. These are the healthy fats, so loud n proud. Gotta love ’em. Right?

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Ok. Sounds great. So where do we get us some of those Omega 3s?

Here you go;

FISH. Eat fish. How simple is that? But wait. What kind? Salmon, sardines, herring and the Big Tuna, maybe just three times a week.

WALNUTS. Eat walnuts. Throw some on your salad or on top of your oatmeal. Crunchy goodness never sounded so crunchy. Or tasted so good. You know…crunchy good.

CANOLA OIL. Use canola oil. For your salad dressing, your cooking and baking. You won’t believe that it’s canola oil. Really. You won’t. Trust me.

Ok. So, what do we say…?

Omega three is good for me. So make a start, it’s for your heart.

Sorry bout that. I just couldn’t help myself. A thousand healthy fat pardons.

Instead of thinking in black and white…think In color

“There is no way I could ever finish this.”

“I am absolutely done with this.”

These two absolute statements are examples of something called cognitive distortion. And they can be very harmful to our brains. How you may ask, and you may ask anytime you may want to ask, because asking is good. Just don’t ask bout asking…

Well first, by prolonging stress and magnifying our feelings. Now feelings are fine as far as they go, but reason and reasonable thought should always be guiding and holding our feelings hand in hand as we go along our sometimes not so merry way.

Then by making it really hard to solve problems. Thinking too fully about the problem instead of thinking of the solution, or solutions available to us, isn’t the way to navigate our way through this, what at times, can be a very stressful life. Having a map is fine and good but getting to our destination sometimes calls upon us to use some resourceful thinking.

And by creating a self perpetuating, habit forming mindset. Why does it feel (those feelings again getting in our way) as though bad habits are so easy to come by? And then also why do those bad habits become so hard to break? Don’t forget, asking is good.

So. Suggestions?

When I hear sentences that are so absolute, so up or down, so yes or no, know what? They sound so black and white to me. And then you always hear that there are shades of gray in a world of black and white, that everything really isn’t black and white. There’s some gray areas around the edges. That’s fine. But how bout instead of dull gray areas on the perimeters of life, why not have some areas of full radiantly gorgeous color. And then we can go even further. Instead of thinking in black and white…let’s think in color.

Why not try a new attitude? Just asking…

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Now headmaster declares, “Lets take a quick look at our first statement.”

“There is no way I could ever finish this.”

Pretty black and white. And a little negative. So let’s add a little out-of-the-coloring-box color to this problem. Let’s think about what you’d have to do to finish this project and again, because asking is a good thing, let’s ask:

Do we need more time? If we were able to get up earlier to work on this, could we get it done? Or maybe watch less TV tonite so we could work on it? Time is a pretty valuable commodity that isn’t of an endless supply, so maybe we should look into how we are spending it. Again. Just asking…

How about more money? Would we be able to sacrifice, say our daily coffee cash, to get this project done? Or maybe save on a few lunches and brown bag it so this thing could get finished? How much do we really want the project to be finished. What’s our price?

Or how bout going extreme here. What if finishing this project would actually save our life. I know, I know. Pretty extreme, but when you think in color, you never know where it will take you. Pretty sure that if your life depended on it, this project would be done and done very quickly. So maybe playing a little drama queen/king is all that you need. Get ‘er done.

Know what? Theres another really nice benefit to thinking in color. What is that you may ask, since asking is good? Well, all the above suggestions are about you having choice. And about you having control. Control and choice kinda make you the master of your own domain, don’t they? And having some choice and control over a problem, well, you shouldn’t have too many problems left, don’t you think?

I’ll ask…right?

So right.

Guess who’s coming to dinner…fruit.

Here’s something for you that’s good and tasty. Wait for it…wait for it…fruit.

Yes. Fruit for dinner. And why not. It’s an especially great idea when you’re pressed for time and need something done very quickly and very easily.

In fact the easiest configuration would be to have a small bowl of chopped fruit as a side next to your main dish.

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Or, if you’re feeling like having a little pre-dinner quirky fun or, what Aunt Edna calls, with some frustration, appetizers, then try the following;

Dice yourself up some mango and stir it into salsa, which could be store bought if you have to, & go grab the tortilla chips for some fruity fiesta fun. Just keep the sombrero at home. Aunt Edna gets a little spry if she sees a sombrero around. And no one wants to see Aunt Edna spry. No way.

Next idea. Take some figs and stuff ’em with blue cheese. Honestly, not one of my fab/favs but…you know, it’s good for the list.

So. Done with appetizers? No? Not yet. Alright. We’ll wait a few more minutes…

Done? Ok.

Now for the main meal, hows about this…

Grill up some pineapple planks and serve ’em with grilled pork or chicken and then turn up the Hawaii Five O, new or classic. Doesn’t matter, just book ’em Danno. Book ’em good.

Maybe take some of that mango n salsa and pour it over some grilled fish. My favorite?Tilapia. Mmm.

Or chop yourself up some peaches and put ’em in a pan. Some peaches and put ’em in a pan. Nice rhythm to that. Now as they simmer, throw in a little mint and honey. Carefully pour over some chicken or turkey. Love the aroma of mint and honey. Reminds me of camping.

ok. So. Now, if your mouth isn’t watering after reading all of that stuff up above, then we will have to send Aunt Edna over, with her sombrero on, just to see what the damn problem is. And she can be very cranky around supper time, even with that sombrero on.

So. Go ahead. Ask who’s coming for dinner. Yeah. You know it. Fruit!

Better breakfast…better day…better you

Breakfast cereal. Essentially the easiest habit to start up your day with. Get up. Shower. Throw some dry cereal into a bowl and then mindlessly eat. Or eat while you read the back of the cereal box. This is all very easy to repeat too. Every day. Every single day.

Up. Shower. Cereal. Up. Shower. Cereal.

Yet really, breakfast should be more than that. Much more. Like how much more? Like much more…like how bout more protein, much more. Stuffing some protein into your morning ritual will help you feel full for much longer, all the while improving your morning concentration levels and bettering your own production levels. And who wouldn’t want that? It’s a win, win, won kinda thing.

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So here are some protein rich substitutes to try in place of that dry old cereal;

Any kind of nuts. Any kind. Walnuts, almonds. You get the idea.

Turkey bacon or turkey sausage. Mmm. I can smell it already. Nice.

Tofu. Why not. It’s good for you. Tofu for you. Give it a swing.

Hummus. Nuff said.

Some cheese. But not too much. Maybe like a slice. You do not overdo or cut the cheese.

My fab/fav…yogurt. Yogurt and nuts. Yogurt and anything. I really like yogurt.

Peanut butter. Very high in protein. Or any other nut butter. Almond butter etc.

And finally eggs. Although there is a lot of cholesterol in eggs it’s still very protein rich. Just don’t over do the eggs, easy over on the eggs.

Also having a healthy protein rich breakfast may keep your mind tilted towards healthier foods the rest of the day. You know, since I ate so well this morning, why not keep it up. Good habits can be habit forming.

So. Get up. Shower. Then think of something else for breakfast. Maybe yogurt. Maybe you want some of that turkey sausage. Start up your day…better.

Don’t be that serial cereal person.

Whole grain is the whole ten yards

Here’s something I’ll bet you don’t get asked much very often; ever read the label on your bread? I know. It doesn’t come up all that readily in most conversations, but it should. It really should.

Whole grain bread, which I’m hoping is the bread that’s on your table right now at this very moment as I write, is worth a thorough examination. In and of itself, whole grain breads have a whole lotta fiber, minerals and vitamins that can keep you energy fortified for quite a while. Quite a while.

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So. Here we go. Pick up that loaf on your table right now. Look at the label of your bread. What are you looking for? Well I’ll tell you in a couple of words, whole grain and whole wheat. That is all that you need to be looking for, very simply.

If you see “made with whole wheat” or “made with whole grain” ditch that loaf like one hot potato and look for the genuine thing. No substitutes should be allowed. You should only stay stubbornly with whole grain and whole wheat.

You nod and ask, what about multi grain, whole bran or cracked wheat? Nope. Keep moving. Nothing to see or buy here. All right. How bout oat bran or nine grain? No, no, no. Whole wheat or whole grain. How about wheatberry or stoned wheat? Read the glorious words…whole grain and whole wheat.

No substations should be allowed. Go the whole ten yards. Go whole wheat and whole grain. You’ll be happy you did.

How to triumph over that dreaded 3PM slump.

You know it’s something we all dread. Don’t even like to think about thinking about it. It’s that crappy sluggish stop sign we all have to face so near to the end of our day. The after lunch, slogging severely, 3PM slump. I have to use all of my will power to not look up at the clock.

And what do we all do at that most apprehensively anguished period of time? We pull ourselves slowly up and trudge over to the local vending machines to purchase some coffee. Or some candy. Or sometimes some coffee AND candy.

Not the right thing to do, people. And, deep down, we all know it.

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But that quick jolt of caffeine or sugar induced energy will be very short lived. How short lived? As short lived as Aunt Edna’s speed dating evening last Friday. And the slump that arrives after your quick sugar/coffee hit will be followed by an even lower sinking, slumping event that makes people bow their heads down and pray for a quick nap. Just for a few minutes. Ten at the most. Really. Ten minutes. That’s all I’ll need. Promise. Just ten…

But you know what? You can get a much longer lasting food hit with some protein and or fiber. And this food hit will stick with you much longer. How much longer? Longer than Aunt Edna’s mustache took to grow.

So. So? So why not try the following;

A bunch of nuts. Any kind.

Apple slices…with peanut butter. Mmmm. Apple slicey peanut buttery.

A trail mix with raisins and nuts. Mmm. Raisiny nutty.

A little bit of cheese and whole grain crackers. But you have to remember, in fact always, always, always remember, to not cut the cheese beforehand.

And finally my fab/fav…banana slices with fresh as the morning dew raspberries. Oh my. Guess where I’m gonna go as soon as I’m done here.

So. 3PM slump? No coffee or sugar just give me that protein n fiber bump.

You’re on the right track

I found out something the other day. A track is the perfect place to run. You don’t have to think about where you’re going so it’s perfect for a pure run. And it’s pretty easy to add up how far you’ve run. On most out door tracks four laps equal one mile. How easy can you make it on yourself, I ask myself.

And to make it a family shindig, little kids can play on the inside of the infield while you run, keeping an easy eye on them. As they get older you just know they’re gonna wanna join you in the fun on the run.

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Here are some fun workouts to do on the track, now that you’re on the right track:

Run 3/4 of the track, or 300 meters, then walk the last 1/4 , or 100 meters. A little mix n match never hurt anyone, did it?

Do a little trading off as you run one lap fast and then one lap slow. Some more mix n match wonderment.

Run the straights then walk the curves. Run the straights then walk the curves. Got a nice rhythm to it. Run the straights then walk the curves. Now you say it…

Do four laps as fast as you can and then record your time. That way you can see how fast you’ve run a mile. Then tell your friends to run a mile in their shoes.

After running one lap, head over to the stands and head up to the top of the stadium steps. Not as easy as it sounds. Believe me. Nope. Not easy.

So there you go. And as you go you will see how much fun this running stuff can be.

Hey. Don’t walk away from me. Run.