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I’ve moved

May 13, 2010 1 comment

My blog has moved!

Please visit me at meganshay.com.

Categories: about me, Uncategorized

Moving

May 11, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m in the process of moving my blog. I’ll post the new site name when it’s up and running.

Categories: Uncategorized

gmail

April 20, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m beginning to not like the size of my gmail inbox. It doesn’t give me a good reason to delete e-mails and then they sit there taunting me.

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computer situation

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Ugh. We have a nasty virus/worm/case of spyware/etc. on our home computer.

What a pain.

Categories: Uncategorized

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

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Big Mac Pumpkin

October 24, 2009 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

Live Simply, and Save the Drama for Your Mother

October 17, 2009 Leave a comment

via Leo Babauta.
The word “drama” has taken on an interesting meaning in recent years, beyond the performance form of fiction it’s traditionally signified: “making a big deal over something unnecessarily”.

It’s about making a big production of something, when you could simply get on with things.

Interestingly, the word “drama” comes from the Greek word for “action”, which in itself derives from a word that means “to do”. And doing turns out to be the answer for unnecessary “drama” (which, by the way, you would be wise to save for your mama or other such parental figure, according to popular television).

What’s the problem with drama? For one, as the urban definition implies, it’s unnecessary. There’s no need for histrionics when you can talk about and deal with things calmly. There’s no need to get overly emotional when you can breathe, release the tensions, and focus on being happy, now, in the moment.

It complicates things, makes a big deal of little things, and ignores the little things that should be a big deal: little things like simple pleasures, and gratitude, and the simple wonderful existence of life.

Drama makes life harder. If you lose your job, you can go into a depression (perhaps understandably) and lose your home and have a hard time finding a job again — often because of the depression. But if instead you stay calm, perhaps take the view that this is a fresh start and a way to pursue the dream you’ve never had the time to pursue, look at it as a way to learn new skills and reinvent yourself … things won’t be so hard.

If you have gotten fat, instead of making a big deal about it, go outside for a walk, and make it a simple daily habit (perhaps gradually turning it into a jog). And then just start eating fresher foods — fruits and veggies and beans and nuts — rather than unhealthy foods. Start cooking for yourself instead of eating fast food. The drama will only serve to get you depressed and fatter. Simply getting on with it will solve the problem, rather easily if you don’t make a big deal of it.

How to Stop the Drama
So when you feel yourself getting worked up about something — a coworker not pulling his weight, a spouse who isn’t living up to your expectations, a daughter who isn’t doing as well at school as you’d like — stop the drama.

Breathe. Let it go. Breathe in, taking in the peace of the world. Breathe out, and let the tensions and frustrations flow out of you. Repeat until the drama is gone.

And then simply be, in the moment, right now. When we get worked up about something, it’s usually about something that has already happened (in the past) or something that might happen, that’s coming up (in the future). Forget about all that right now (you can reflect on it later, when you’re calmer and dispassionate). Right now, focus on what you’re doing. This might be sitting in front of a computer, reading. Or walking. Or drinking a glass of water. Washing dishes. Driving. That’s what you’re doing, in the moment. That’s all you should think about. As you feel your mind returning to the past or the future, return it gently to what you’re doing right now. It takes practice.

Simply get on with it. Do what you need to do to calmly address the situation. Deal with it, in as simple a manner as possible. Forget all the complications — just do.

Overwhelmed with too much to do? Breathe, focus on what you are doing right now, and just focus on getting that done.

Tired of your horrible job? Breathe, focus on now, and do what needs to be done to deal with it.

Annoyed by someone? Let it go. Focus on what you’re doing, right now. And just get on with it.

If you start getting worked up again, start back at the first step.

Also, your mother probably doesn’t need your drama either, just fyi.

uncopyrighted

Categories: Uncategorized

too tired to think.

October 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Yesterday I went to the Extraordinary Women Conference in Ypsi, followed by David Copperfield at the Fox with my sister and Jeremy. Looonnng day.

More later.

Categories: Uncategorized

never forget

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment

9-11

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The Way to Eat: Top 10 Rules for Eating Right

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

lunch

Top 10 Rules for Eating Right
By David L. Katz, MD

One question I’m frequently asked is “What’s the secret to a healthy diet?” The answer isn’t all that mysterious. You just have to keep some basic guidelines in mind, beginning with:

1. Use smaller plates.
Whether you’re already trim or trying to lose weight, one of the best things you can do for your waistline and your health is to downsize your dishware. Cornell University nutrition researcher Brian Wansink, PhD, has found that switching from a 12-inch to a ten-inch plate leads people to eat 22 percent fewer calories. If you downsized only your dinner plate, you’d be eliminating more than 5,000 calories a month from your diet. It really is that simple.

2. Make half of every meal fruits or vegetables.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends five to nine servings of produce a day, but if you follow my rule, you won’t have to count. At breakfast, fill your bowl halfway with cereal, then top it off with berries or sliced banana. At lunch, eat a smaller—or half—sandwich, and add two pieces of fruit. At dinner, make sure your plate is at least 50 percent salad, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or whatever veggie you choose. This ensures that you get enough nutrients and automatically reduces the amount of fat and calories you consume (provided you don’t go crazy with fatty dressings and toppings).

3. Don’t eat on the run.
The first problem with grabbing and gulping is that it usually means fast food. And even a smallish fast food lunch (small burger, medium fries, diet soda) delivers around 800 calories—more than the average woman would want to get at dinner. When we eat on the go, our brains tend to register the food as a snack—regardless of how many calories we consume—leading us to overeat at our next meal.

4. The shorter the ingredient list, the better.
Most of the healthiest foods have only one ingredient: Think broccoli, spinach, blueberries, etc. Longer lists generally mean more sugar, more salt, more artificial flavors. More unhealthy stuff.

5. Nutritious food doesn’t have to be expensive.
Some colleagues and I recently completed a study in Independence, Missouri, comparing prices between a diverse list of healthy grocery items and a list of less nutritious ones. (This was part of a program we’ve developed—see NutritionDetectives.com—to help kids make healthier choices about what to eat.) With rare exception, we found that the smart choices cost no more. In fact, there was a potential small savings associated with the healthy selections. And that’s without considering such economical options as occasionally substituting beans or lentils for meat, or making a sandwich at home rather than spending money at a restaurant.

6. Take an extra ten minutes a day to prepare healthy meals.
By devoting a few minutes to planning for more nutritious eating, you invest in your own health and that of your family. And when I say few, I mean it: Studies from UCLA suggest that a wholesome, home-cooked dinner takes only about ten minutes longer to prepare, on average, than serving processed or ready-made food. If you make enough for leftovers, you’ll save time in the long run. And don’t forget: Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease all lead to doctor and hospital visits—which take a lot of time.

7. Retrain your palate.
As any 5-year-old or picky eater can attest, familiarity is a powerful driver of dietary preference. But taste buds are malleable and can be taught to appreciate new and subtler flavors. When you swap processed, high-fat, sodium-packed, and oversweetened food for healthier fare, it can take one to two weeks before your taste buds acclimate. Don’t expect to love new flavors right away (and certainly don’t expect your kids to). Just keep serving the new dishes, and soon neither you nor your palate will recall what all the fuss was about.

8. Stop eating before you feel full.
Slow the pace of your meals. Pay attention to what you’re eating. And call it quits when you’re about 80 percent full. After a pause, you’ll likely find that “mostly full” is full enough. Studies indicate that simply by eating at a leisurely pace, you could drop up to 20 pounds a year.

9. Sit down to dinner with the entire family.
Whether it’s just you and your spouse or a family of 12, demand that everyone treat the dinner hour as holy. Kids who eat with their parents are less likely to consume junk, less likely to overeat, and less likely to be overweight. Parents who eat with their children report greater satisfaction with family life.

And families who eat together are far less likely to be plagued by eating disorders, drug use, smoking, and alcohol abuse, according to several studies conducted by the University of Minnesota and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. That’s a remarkable benefit to something as simple as sitting down together for a family meal.

10. You really are what you eat.
You want radiant skin? Consider that your skin depends on the flow of blood for nutrients and oxygen—which, in turn, requires healthy blood vessels and a steady supply of red blood cells generated by your bone marrow.

The best way to keep your body humming is to eat a well-rounded, nutritious diet. Want to-die-for, salon-style hair? Then you need healthy hair follicles to build hair in the first place—and that, in turn, depends on having a healthy heart to pump nutrients to those follicles, and healthy lungs to give them oxygen.

As for better mental acuity—well, you get the idea: Your brain depends on the vitality of your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys (you name the organ) to be in tip-top shape. The best way to bring out your best attributes is to foster your overall health through smart eating—a diet that favors produce, grains, legumes, and lean sources of protein, such as fish and soy.

David L. Katz, MD, is director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and president of the nonprofit Turn the Tide Foundation.

Categories: Uncategorized