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Friday, October 24, 2014

Do You Want to Eat Healthier, Gain Control and Maybe Even Lose Weight?

Such a simple thing: a bowl of fresh fruit

This bowl of fruit will help you eat healthier by making better choices. It will help you gain control over your eating habits and your life. And it will help you better manage your weight. It may help you lose weight.

It may help increase your happiness.

It sounds like it is magic, bit its not. But it is a sneaky trick.  Our brains our powerful and sometimes work against our best interests.

Next week, I will post a 5 part series here, beginning on Monday, October 27, 2014, giving you secret "tricks" that you can do anywhere: at home, the office, in a restaurant, in the grocery store.

These tricks are simple. And effective when used. And they cost almost nothing. Well, one trick will cost you about 50 cents a month. Maybe less.

But take note. With these five small changes, you will not be asked to:

  • Buy different food
  • Cook differently
  • Eat at strange restaurant
  • Stop eating at restaurants
  • Count calories (Yes. That's right I said "NOT count calories!!!!")
  • Weight and measure your food
  • Perform exhausting exercises
  • Attend meetings
  • Buy special "fat burning, metabolism-revving, appetite suppressing" pills
So what are the five secret tricks?

I'll post them next week, one a day, beginning on Monday.

Yes. I know. This is an unsufferable tease. Do you really want to know what they are sooner? If so, you can listen to my podcast where I release all the goodies. 

http://MakeYourSomedayToday.com/5Tricks

Wow. Such a mean way to oncourage more people to listen to my podcast. (Guilty as charged.)

And after you listen, go to the homepage (http://MakeYourSomedayToday.com) and click on the yellowish button that reads "Varsity Squad" and join the group of team mates who get the earliest scoop on new information.

Get ready for five simple changes that will change your life.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Where Do You Want to Go?

Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be?

Photo by David Marcu, via Unsplash.com

I don't know your answer to those questions. Maybe you don't either. But your options are nearly unlimited. Or rather, they are only limited by one thing: you.

What do you want?

The first step in anything is having a plan. Choose something as your goal. Weight loss. New career. Launch a podcast. Walk the Pacific Crest Trail. Anything. Find a goal, something that you are passionate over, and make a specific goal statement. Picture what success looks like. Write your goal--on paper--and attach it somewhere you will see it frequently. Be as specific as specific as possible. Set a deadline, for all goals except weight loss. Our bodies are frequent obstinant about losing weight. Focus on the end weight, not a due date, and you will have less frustration.

The next step is take action which moves you toward the goal. Right now. Don't wait. Tomorrow will not be any better than today. Just act. Will it be the right action? I don't know. Neither do you, until you try. If you want to lose weight, maybe that means downloading a calorie-counting app (like LoseIt, which I use.) Start using it. If you find success, great! If after a few weeks of consistent use, you find it unhelpful, try something else. Nothing will happen until you do something!

You may decide to get more active. I wear my Fitbit to help keep me moving. But you need to 1) wear it, and 2) keep moving to get any benefit!

I have a friend who stated in November 2013 that he would launch his podcast in one year. To date, he still is chasing ideas for his podcast. As he puts it, "When you chase two rabbits, you don't catch any." Now, that isn't a terrible thing, but until he know what he really wants, he will continue to chase those rabbits.

Deepak Chopra put it nicely when he said "No solution can ever be found by running in three different directions.”

Do you want a new career? What do you love doing? That isn't necessarily what you enjoy as a hobby, but what makes you feel completed? I homebrew beer. For a few years, I actively considered creating my own brewpub (brewery and restaurant) because I make really good beer, I am a good chef, and I love servin people my food and beer. But the more I looked at it, the more I realized that while I love brewing and cooking for myself, my family and my friends, doing it every day, on a demanding schedule would not make me happy. Look into classes at your local community college. Maybe you can test your resolve by taking a class in accounting (if you want to become an accountant) or welding (if that is your plan.)

Side note: here in Northeastern Wisconsin, we can't seem to find enough skilled welders. The college that I teach offers welding programs that are always filled. A good job, if you like that type of work, might be waiting for you in Wisconsin.

Do you want to start a podcast, blog or write a book? Well, guess what? Those don't magically appear. They all involve writing and a significant committment of time and energy. And they all take consistent effort. That is similar to students who buy a textbook but rarely--or never--open it, and then wonder why their test scores are low.

Find a resource, sit down and take action. To learn how to podcast, go to Meron Bareket's Podcast Starter Kit. Starting a blog is easy when you follow Leslie Samuel's "Become a Blogger" plan. Jeff Goins is an awesome author and his blog "Goins, Writer" helps new authors get their start.

So, you have a plan and you took your first steps. Are you having any success? You need to always evaluate your progress. Maybe not daily, but weekly or monthly is a good timeline for assessment. Sit down at the same time each week, and look at your metrics. How many pounds did you lose? How many days did you eat within your budget? How many words per day did you write, or how many interviews did you record and edit? Is that answer what you need to reach your goal? If yes, stick with it. If not, consider small changes to maximize your chances of success. Maybe find a mentor, face to face or vitual to help provide accountability. That is what I do for my weight management clients.

When should you do this?

Right now. What will be accomplished by waiting? Even if you say that you need to wait until tomorrow for that flight to Tibet, you can still take action today to prepare for it. Act now. It is the only time that you now you will have.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

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Note: the links to LoseIt, Fitbit and the Podcast Starter Kit are my affiliate links. (Other links are simply excellent resources.) That means if you click on those and buy one (or all) I will receive a small commission. It does not change your cost at all, but it will help me continue to provide recipes and advice here and in my podcast Make Your Someday Today. That is the only firm of payment I have here, or in the podcast. I tell you about tools that worked for, and if you belief they can help you, your purchase keeps my work going. And for that, I thank you!

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Find Your Own Voice!


You can go your own way and be your own person. Or you can be one of the sheep. The choice is always yours.

Don't get me wrong, I love sheep. Seeing a large flock of walking puffs of clouds over a rolling green hill is relaxing. They are cute (well, at the petting zoo for my kids, they were cute.) They make wool. I love a nice wool suit. And delicious meat (roast leg of lamb is incredible.) And they produces milk for cheese. They are...well, they are animals that graze and exist until we need some part of them.

They are a commodity. An object used to create something else for sale. And just about any single sheep can be replaced with any other sheep. They may have different personalities, but they are interchangable in their role within the drove.

That is a lot like people, in a way. People like to think they are irreplaceable in the job. But they aren't (and deep down, I think we all know it.) We are needed only because we can push the right button, or throw a football nicely, or sing a song beautifully, but in reality, many people can push that same button, throw a football, and sing that same song. In the workforce, people are commodities.

We are all just a very large, very fast-moving flock of people. Everything we do is a blur. Everything runs together, like a watercolor painting left out in the rain. We are all interchangeable. Oh, it may take some retraining to pull one person out and put a new person in their place, but that is the same as when you introduce a new sheep to the pasture. There are 7 billion people on the planet.


Or maybe there is just one person, but with seven billion different faces.

This is not what I normally write about, is it? Sort of grim. But wait, this is only half the story.

See, as a nurse, I am replaceable. Just about any nurse can be taught the skills needed on the job. As an instructor at my local community college, I am a little less replaceable, but only because there are less nurses with the right education credentials. But those can be earned.

So where am I going with this?

There is one way I am irreplaceable. Only one position that only I can fill. One area where I am not a commodity.

As a person, I am the only ME there is. So I need to make the most of it. While many people can do what I do, I am the only person who does it exactly I as do it. I am the only person with exactly my background and history. In all of the world, there is likely only one nurse who is:
  • male
  • weight loss coach
  • bartender (6 places)
  • chef (2 places)
  • a television guest chef
  • fast food restaurant manager
  • security guard, 
  • courier
  • dairy bottling plant shipping manager
  • direct salesman (4 companies)
  • telemarketer
  • carpet cleaner
  • grocery store clerk
  • car wash attendant 
  • day care custodian/substitute teacher
  • home brewer
  • certified beer judge
  • who is also a podcaster, blogger, and YouTuber.
I think I can say I AM unique.

That is what makes me separate from the herd. I am a herd of one (to borrow from a US Army slogan.) I use all those experiences to make me a better person at everything.

That does not mean I am an expert at everything. Heck, I'm not an expert at anything. I am gaining new skills every day. I will admit to making mistakes repeatedly, although I try to not make the same mistake twice.

This realization did not happen overnight. I'm 51 years old and it's only been in the past couple years that I have started to believe this. As an instructor at the college, it took more than five years to find my voice. There is working "outside your comfort zone" and "learning the lay of the land." I started teaching in January 2009, and it was not until this semester that I finally decided to remove parts of my mask and show the real me. Just yesterday, a colleague commented on how much more engaged I am, and my only response was I finally feel as though my real voice is taken as valid.

But the point is that I am finally being myself!

Stepping out, seizing your own space, using your own voice, those are all methods of being your own authentic self. And all of those can be intimidating. But until you take those steps, you are just another blurred face in the crowd.

If you don't use your own voice, if you don't act the way you truly feel, you are not loyal to yourself. You will change as the powers around you change. You will be a flag in a hurricane, whipping violently in one direction until the hurricane passes and then you will whip violently in the opposite direction.

In doing so, you lose yourself.

“If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.”
Claude McKay, Jamaican-American writer and poet (1889 – 1948)

I'll leave you with a few questions. Please feel free to answer them in the comments.

Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you want?

What do you bring that no one else can? Do you use it, every day?

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In researching this essay, I knew that a collection of sheep was a "herd", but was not sure about any other terms. According to the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center a collection of sheep can be called a "flock, herd or drove." I knew that elephants were a herd. Do you know the name for a group of apes? Badgers? Martens? Eagles? Starlings? Toads? Trout? Jellyfish?

(That is the sort of thing that interests us nurses who are guys that have experienced that list of careers above.)
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Unsplash License:  "All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pork Schnitzel Sandwiches on Rye


Pork Schnitzel Sandwiches on Rye
Serves 4

4 pork cutlets, 3-4 ounce each
1/8 c flour
Seasoning (I used Penzey's Bavarian Style Seasoning)
1 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon cooking oil (corn, canola or safflower)
  1. Cover a large plate with parchment paper.
  2. Coat cutlets in flour.
  3. Dip in egg wash.
  4. Press in panko crumbs, pushing firmly to help it adhere.
  5. Place cutlets on the parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (This helps the breading bond to the meat.)
  6. Preheat non-stick skillet. Add oil.
  7. Fry each cutlet until brown and crispy (3 minutes per side.)
  8. Serve on rye bread with sliced red onion, lettuce and brown mustard.
Nutritional data:
Calories:           313
Fat:                    9.9g
Sat fat:               1.7g
Chol:            89.5mg
Sodium:     560.2mg
Carbs:             35.6g
Fiber:                4.7g
Protein:           24.3g

I served this sandwich with my homemade low-sodium pickles.

And since it is October, and this was a German dish, I needed a nice beer from my friend Brad at Stillmank Brewing to go with it.



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Achieve Success on Your First Attempt!

“Character consists of what you do on your third and fourth tries.” James Michener, US author



How many people reading this have tried to lose weight just one time and achieved permanent success?

Has anyone ever grabbed their skateboard and landed a 360 kickflip on their first try?

How many people started a blog, podcast or any online business and immediately became a success?

Anyone?

I didn’t think so. Weight loss,  skateboarding, blogging, and podcasting, like almost everything in life, is not smooth, easy, and predictable. It requires the ability to try and try again, repeating it over and over if needed. What do you think about the person who attempts something difficult and quits the first time they encounter an obstacle? Maybe you mentally label them a “quitter.” Maybe you look on them with scorn and tell yourself that you would be stronger than that. Maybe you feel pity for them, because you are sympathetic to their plight.

But does anyone look at that person with increased caring and concern? Probably not. But here is the kicker. No matter how other people look at the person, no matter what label we apply, that is nothing compared to what he/she feels of themselves. It is utter failure. Again. It is further proof that we are not good enough, that we don’t deserve success.

And that is what tarnishes the character of the person. Their self-doubts, their assumption of inevitable loss, their inability to stop looking backwards at previous attempts, all play a role in future failures. I know. This is not my first attempt at weight loss. I felt all those feelings. I understand the feelings of defeat and despair.

But this is my first successful attempt at weight loss. (I won't claim success in launching my podcast quite yet.) I don’t know how to put into words what was different this time. I think I finally reached my breaking point. I think I started looking at things with a sense of realistic dread of what my path was leading to. I didn’t want to be the patient in the ER who required four people to move in bed. I didn’t want to have a heart attack or stroke. I was developing uncontrolled high blood pressure, so high that the Red Cross continually deferred me from donating blood.

Some people would call it an epiphany. I just call it life changing. I decided that I didn’t care how many times I had failed to reach my goals; I was not going to stop this time. I would not let anything deter me. My goal was my priority. It helped me make difficult decisions, and it kept my focus laser-sharp. Honestly, I was scared. I was fat and scared.

I don’t know if I would have been as successful losing weight without LoseIt and Fitbit. Maybe I would have, but I’m glad I don’t need to find out. I am almost 18 months at or below goal weight. I will not go back. It isn’t even an option. My entire being is now focused on the idea of staying where I am, staying healthy, and enjoying life. With that attitude, choosing to not get an ice cream cone is easier. (Not “easy”, just “easier.”) It also helps that I still use LoseIt and Fitbit, and will forever (or until LoseIt goes away.)

And I must thank my friend Meron Bareket and his Podcast Starter Kit because that is how I was able to launch my podcast. Meron didn't promise success. No one can promise you success in anything. But Meron, and I, give the tools that are needed to work toward goals. You still need to add the magic ingredients: determination, drive, and the right effort.

My character used to be defined by my failures, by my willingness to quit when it got challenging. Now it is defined by my successes. Everyone here has those same choices to make. You can decide to take the easy way out, stop measuring your food, or log only occasionally, or drive when you could walk. You can choose to have a “cheat day” (which then can become “cheat days”) or you can decide this isn’t fast enough and find something else. Or you can decide that your health and well-being are more important than that extra donut at the office, and that happiness with yourself is worth more than sitting on your butt and watching TV.

Our actions and choices create our character. How do you want to define your character?

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Note: the links to LoseIt, Fitbit and the Podcast Starter Kit are my affiliate links. That means if you click on those and buy one (or all) I will receive a small commission. It does not change your cost at all, but it will help me continue to provide recipes and advice here and in my podcast Make Your Someday Today. That is the only firm of payment I have here, or in the podcast. I tell you about tools that worked for, and if you belief they can help you, your purchase keeps my work going. And for that, I thank you!


Note: the links to LoseIt, Fitbit and the Podcast Starter Kit are my affiliate links. That means if you click on those and buy one (or all) I will receive a small commission. It does not change your cost at all, but it will help me continue to provide recipes and advice here and in my podcast Make Your Someday Today. That is the only firm of payment I have here, or in the podcast. I tell you about tools that worked for, and if you belief they can help you, your purchase keeps my work going. And for that, I thank you!

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com and Victor Erixon.


Unsplash License:  "All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Two Side Dishes


Sweet Potato Fries and Three Bean Salad
These recipes feel a little like cheating. They are so easy that I almost think I should not include them here, but I don't want people to overlook these.

Sweet Potato Fries

I bought a small electric fryer (This is not exactly the model I found at my local Aldi, but it is very similar and for a similar price.) It is just large enough to make one potato's worth of fries. (Or as my friends from Great Britain would say, "chips".)

Peel the sweet potato (and of course, these instructions are true for white potatoes.) Cut them into slice 1/4-1/2 inch thick, then cut them again at the same size to make the fries.

Rinse under cold water, then place in a bowl. Fill with water and ice. Let them chill for 30min to overnight.

Get the oil hot, 325F/162C. Use an oil that remain liquid at room temperatures (canola, corn, safflower or peanut work very nicely.) Drain the water off the potatoes, and using a clean cotton towel, get the fries as dry as possible. Carefully place in the oil. Let let cook for 6-8 minutes. They will start to get limp. Remove them from the oil and let drain. set them aside to rest.

Turn the heat up to 350F/175C. When hot, place the fries back in the oil for 1 minute. they will quickly get golden brown. Serve immediately.

Three Bean Salad
Makes approximately 8 portions (1 cup each)

2 cans cut green bean
1 can cut wax (yellow) beans
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed until clear
1 medium onion, slice thinly.
apple cider vinegar 
sugar (or I used Splenda)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place everything in a non-reactive bowl (glass is best). I try to find low sodium versions of the vegetables. That way, if you need to add a bit more, you are in control of how much is added.

Mix the dressing (equal parts vinegar and sweetener.) I make it in small amount ata time until I get enough. How much is enough? Hard to say, but after placing all the vegetables in the bowl, you want to add enough dressing to come about 3/4 of the way to the top. It's okay if not everything is submerged. The onions will get soft and collapse, and the beans will give off their own juice. 

Mix together, season as needed, cover and refrigerate overnight. This is a salad that tastes better a few days after making it.

Nutritional data (using Splenda, and no-salt-added vegetables)
Calories:       149
Fat:                     0g
Sat fat:                0g
Chol:                0mg
Sodium:    295.6mg
Carbs:            32.6g
Fiber:               6.7g
Protein:            6.7g

Most of the calories and carbs are from the kidney beans.

I served these sides with burgers, fresh off the grill. I dressed my bun with Vidalia onion and avocado slices (on the bottom bun) with a dollop of coarse German mustard on top of the meat.

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Note: the link to Amazon is an affiliate link. That means if you click on it and buy one, I will receive a small commission. It does not change your cost at all, but it will help me continue to provide recipes and advice here and in my podcast http://MakeYourSomedayToday.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Toasted Ham and Swiss with Fresh Figs and Vidalia Jam


Toasted Ham and Swiss with Fresh Figs and Vidalia Jam
Serves 1

This is a combination of many flavors,  but it works!

2 slices rye bread
Coarse German mustard
Vidalia jam
Arugula (or other greens)
1 ounce shaved ham
1 ounce Swiss cheese
2 figs, sliced

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Spread mustard on one slice, Vidalia jam on the other. Layer the other ingredients in order.


I'm not going to give nutritional data, because this is too variable. Use more or less mustard or jam. Different meats (turkey or pancetta) would change the numbers, as will the different breads. 

This recipe is meant to stimulate your imagination.

Enjoy!