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.

Walnuts.

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.

Right?

Right.

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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?

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.

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.

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.

Positively Thinking

Its very funny how our brains work. Given their own mind, as it were, our brains always seem to take that easy downward pitched road to non- positive thoughts, mostly fearful and sometimes depressingly so. It takes a lot of effort to keep your ever so easily distracted thoughts from leaning towards the negative and keeping a clear, decisive affirmation of the confident cheerfulness of positivity.

Now a lot of very smart people will talk about how our brains really are hard wired to be scared stiff yellow bellied cowards. But there’s a reason for that. Our minds will keep us out of danger by being so apprehensive and careful. That mind induced fear is meant to keep us safe. Fear, in all reality, is humankind’s best friend.

Don’t go out of the cave yet. Beasts are waiting. Don’t go alone when we leave the cave. Beasts are still waiting. And for all the many named Gods sake above, don’t ever leave the cave at night. You know…beasts are waiting. And the beasts are so damned hungry.

So there are some reasonable reasons for our brains to swerve to the carefully diligent obstructions meant to keep us fearful yet fearfully alive. Survival at its most ruthlessly beneficial.

So. What’s this whole little tome about then?

Thinking positive. To do something that goes totally against generations of fear coached endurance skills. No wonder it’s so hard to keep yourself up and positive and smiley smiles all around with all those beasts outside waiting.

So. Again. What’s this all about then?

Tips to work against your own mind and to think positive. It’s a fight well worth fighting. And like all good fights, the battle has to become almost like a habit. Move forward and take the hill. Move forward and take the hill. Move forward…you get the idea. Take the damn hill. An absolute of grinding positivity.

So.

Tip number one.

Experts have found that reading something just before dropping off to sleep is extremely beneficial to retaining whatever was read. It’s a great learning tool. In fact some people have found that listening to a recording as they fall asleep works pretty well as a learning device. So sweet dreams can actually become sweet n smart dreams. And who wouldn’t love that.

So tonight, just before you lay your weary head on that soft inviting pillow, think of one thing that happened during that day that made you very happy. It could be anything.

Someone you hadn’t seen for quite a while called you. You had an incredibly tasty meal. Your boss complimented you about a project you were working on. You finished cleaning up your room. Your partner smiled at you while making dinner. Anything really. As long as it made you very happy. Then write it down into a notepad that you will keep bedside from now on.

So it’s kinda simple really.

Every night before bed, think of something that made you very happy during the day. Then write it down, turn over, and get that well deserved sleep. And as you fall away into that dreamy dreamland, think positive. And ignore those beasts outside waiting.