Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Motivations: How To Choose A New CEO

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you." The young executives were shocked , but the boss continued, "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, an the one I choose will be the next CEO.

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost, and he planted the seed. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by--still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - he so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He tool his empty pot to the board room.
When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful - in all shaped and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him.
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, the CEO knows I'm a failure. Maybe he will have me fired!" When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed, Jim told him the story.
The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. He couldn't even grow his seed. "How could he be the next CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds. They were dead; it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

The moral of the story:
Be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you you will reap later.
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

For more Monday Motivations Click Here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weekly Weigh In: I Already Blew It, So It Doesn't Matter What I Eat!

I read something last week that said "If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up!" Well, isn't that just about the most applicable statement you've ever read when it comes to taking care of your health and/or losing weight?!

Change happens immediately, but sometimes progress is slower than others. It might be due to curve balls thrown at us (beyond our control) that knock us off balance. It might be due to our own wavering commitment. The important thing is that we continue to move in the direction of our goal. 

You've heard "Rome wasn't built in a day", or "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!" "A child learns to walk one step at a time." These statements are applicable when we have made a change and are working towards a goal. While the "change" happens immediately, the results take a little longer to show up.

Let me clarify. You don't "ease into" making a change. It doesn't take a long time to make a change. It sometimes takes a long time "decide" to make a change, or to be ready to make the commitment. You can think about it for a long time, but the moment you make the decision to change, you've made a changeThe change in our thought process and our actions happens immediately. The results, however, don't happen immediately.

Just thinking about it and telling yourself that you "should" eat healthier or exercise more isn't making a change. Even telling yourself that you "want to" or "need to" isn't making a change. Saying "I will" and "I am" and then taking the required steps is making a change. Here are some ideas for implementing Healthy Habits.

When you decide you are going to change the way you eat by adding fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains to your diet, you do it. When you decide to eliminate processed food or fried food from your diet, you do it. You make the change today and your health begins to improve immediately. But it will take a number of days to see the full affect of this change. Educating yourself on the nutritional value of the food you eat is a "step". Each good food choice you make today is a "bite" of your elephant. Each day that you follow the plan that you have committed to is another "day" towards building your Rome.

So you indulged in the fresh apple fritter your husband brought home from the bakery Saturday morning. Or you went out to eat for date night and ate a little, (okay a LOT) too much. Does that mean that the steps you've taken don't matter and aren't helping you reach your goal? Of course not!

When a child is learning to walk, they take a step and fall down. No one tells them to just stay on the floor because it's hopeless and they will never learn to walk anyway! Instead, everyone claps their hands, congratulates them for the steps they did take and makes all sorts of sounds to positively reinforce the child. We then reach down to give them a hand to hold so they can stand up and try again.

So what do you tell yourself when you splurge on something that doesn't fit into your "healthy food" plan? What do you tell yourself when you finish a big dinner and then dessert on top of it and now feel uncomfortable with a full and bloated stomach? Have you ever said, "I already blew it today, so it doesn't matter what I eat the rest of the day!"? (Come on, be honest.)

That's like saying, "I already dropped my phone, so I'll just stomp on it til it's broken!"  Seriously? Don't be ridiculous, you say? I'll just pick my phone up, dust it off and it will be fine.

If you stepped off the curb and then looked up to see that the light wasn't green for you to cross, would you just keep walking into the middle of the street and say, "Oh, well, I'm already off the what if I get hit."? 

I love analogies! The same principle applies to your goals. So you stepped off the curb of your healthy eating plan. If you stay there you may get run over, and recovery will be a lot harder. Acknowledge that you chose to do it. Then step right back up. I love My Friend Marie's Attitude about running her own race.

In my last Weekly Weigh In I had stepped off the curb and gained some weight. I didn't even weigh because I knew I was up; I didn't care how much, I just resolved to take care of it. This week I lost whatever I had gained, plus another 2 lbs.

I am committed to eating the whole "elephant". I am building a pretty cool "Rome". I am very aware that I am also dealing with some major curve balls being thrown at me right now. But I am committed to my health! I am committed to me! The change is made. My commitment is strong. Each day is a step towards my desired result! Click here for more Weekly Weigh Ins.

Have you committed to change in your health? Do you know what steps you need to take to achieve your goal? To leave a comment Click Here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Motivations: Who Makes A Difference?

Do you ever feel that you haven't done anything of importance? Don't have a bunch of awards and achievements to show for your efforts in life? See if the following philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip gives you new perspective.

You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read through to the'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2 Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2 Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.


The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." ~Charles Schultz

Who has made a difference in your life that will never be forgotten? To leave a comment Click Here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Truth About Sugar In Your Food!!

If someone told me that my food contained 4.2 grams  of sugar, I wouldn't have a clue how much that was. If you told me it had 1 teaspoon of sugar, I would know. But what if you don't cook or bake much and can't reference a teaspoon easily? If I told you it had 1 sugar cube in you have a reference that makes sense, right?

I'm sure you've been told that all the packaged food you eat has sugar in it. But what does that mean? Do you have any idea how much? Do you even want to know? Or is it easier to ignore it and keep wondering why you "can't lose weight"?

So now I will tell you that 4.2 grams of sugar is EQUAL to 1 teaspoon of sugar which is EQUAL to 1 sugar cube.
Okay, so what? Let's put that into perspective...
Ever wonder why you get such a rush when you drink a coke?
 Or a mountain dew...(not to mention the caffeine!) 
Or a few red bulls... 
Well, it should be okay to have a little cup of iced tea 
or lemonade. 
But orange juice is healthy, right? 
And they sure wouldn't overdo something I give to the kids with lunch, right before nap time.... 
How about that mid-afternoon snack?
Which one to choose?

 Or that after dinner snack. Hmmm...wonder if that affects how I sleep? (and it's not even ice cream! It's sorbet!)
 Maybe I'll just have a glass of milk and a few cookies.
 But Bill Cosby promoted Jell-0 for kids, it's gotta be okay! 
 Are you making an effort to cut out sugar? Don't forget condiments.

Quick trip to the mall - have to grab something on the run? Seriously, 14 sugar cubes in my cinnamon bun?? 
So you were strong enough to walk past Cinnabon; you'll just stop by Starbucks on the way home...
Seriously, would you ever purposefully add 12 sugar cubes to your coffee or 15 to your smoothie? Do you ever feel like it MUST be a good choice just because it's called a smoothie?
Are you kidding? More than 1/2 CUP of sugar in a milkshake!?
Smaller doesn't make it any better.
 I know the cereal is pre-sweetened (then why do so many people sprinkle sugar on top of it?)
I thought Cheerios were okay. Oh, they ARE!! Now that's an acceptable amount of sugar in your cereal.
If you like sweet, and want the energy boost of sugar, there are ways to get it naturally.

This is why I recommend eating fresh fruit first thing in the morning.
The natural sugar provides instant energy.
Pick whatever fruit you like.
Want to give your kids an energy boost in the morning?
Fresh fruit will do it and jump start their metabolism without giving them a sugar crash 2 hours later.
Cut it up on Cheerios...
Let them think they are getting a treat for breakfast.
Throw some baby carrots in their lunch...high in fiber, low in sugar, will help keep them level all afternoon.
Fresh corn, cooked when ripe is very sweet on it's own...needs no toppings.
Sure makes you think about what you're eating, doesn't it. Take a look at the label; it will show you (in grams) how much sugar it contains per serving. I now know that my favorite hot fudge contains a little more than 4 sugar cubes (17 grams) per 2 Tablespoon serving...ouch!! I'm not sure I want to know how much is in the ice cream I would put it on and the caramel and whipped topping that go with it. What I do know is that it is more than I want to ingest. I think I'll have a bowl of pineapple instead!!

Is there a food that you will cut back or cut out now that you know how much sugar it contains? You may leave a comment by Clicking Here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two Coleslaw Recipes For Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Earlier I shared my Pulled Chicken Sandwich recipe where I mentioned coleslaw. Although pulled sandwiched are traditionally served with coleslaw, I decided to make it a separate post due to the length.

While I love a good pulled pork or chicken sandwich, I have never been a huge fan of coleslaw. Maybe it's the heavy mayo that so many people drown it in, maybe it's the flavor. All I know is I don't care for it. But last weekend I decided to try Chef Michael Symon's award winning slaws with my Pulled Chicken Sandwiches. One of these he serves on his "Porky Burger" (which is pulled pork on top of the burger and slaw underneath the burger). The other helped him win the Burger Bash in Miami with his "Fat Doug" burger (pastrami & swiss on top of the burger, slaw under the burger-my mouth is watering over this one!).

Given that, if you like slaw, either would be excellent on your Pulled Chicken SandwichesI will give you both recipes and you decide. I credit Chef Michael Symon for both of these slaw recipes.

Coleslaw #1 (for Porky Burger)

1 Head Savoy Cabbage, shredded
3 Carrots, shredded
5 Scallions, thinly sliced
1 Cup Cilantro, chopped
1 Cup Parsley, chopped
1/3 Cup Pickle Juice (his secret ingredient)
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Salt

Add chopped herbs to the shredded cabbage. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat, Add more salt if necessary.

Coleslaw #2 (for "Fat Doug" Burger)

1/2 Head Napa Cabbage, shredded
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Sm Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
3 Tbsp Tarragon Vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Mayo
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Spicy Mayo

Mix all ingredients to coat.

Would love to get your opinion of these two slaws. Do you have a favorite slaw recipe that I could try? To leave a comment Click Here.

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Is there anyone who doesn’t love good barbecue? I know I do. There's something about a finger lickin' good rack of ribs or perfectly spiced pulled pork. But I struggle with wanting it to be healthy as well. Here's a pulled chicken recipe that is both delicious and healthy.

I know that original pulled meat sandwiches include Coleslaw. I will post separately about the coleslaw that I tried, along with a couple of recipes for you to try with your pulled chicken.

3 Small or 2 Large Whole Chickens
1 (15 oz) can Tomato Sauce
1 (18 oz) bottle Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce
1 (18 oz) Bottle Bills Johnson's Hot & Spice  Sauce
1 Sweet Red or Yellow Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Tbsp Garlic
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Celery Salt
1 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Honey or Agave

Boil chickens until tender. (Boiling chickens are never pretty, are they?)
Cool and remove meat from bones, discarding skin and fat. (Just boiled chickens are not pretty either!!) On this day I boiled 3 large chickens and used 2 for pulled chicken and 1 for a pot of chicken soup.
"Pull" chicken with two forks or your fingers.

While the chicken is cooling enough to handle it, put the sauce together.
Turn  the crock pot on high.
Mix all sauce ingredients together in crock pot.
Add pulled chicken to sauce.
Cook on high 2-3 hours or turn the crock pot to low and let simmer 4-6 hours.
(Simma down now, simma down! Sorry, I digress...) 
Serve with buns...
Add coleslaw if you like...
And accidentally figure out that the pulled chicken is fabulous on spicy nacho chips!! 
Okay, I think this was my favorite way to eat it. On the bun was great. But I'm a fan of spicy and the chips added a little spice and a little crunch...perfect! This recipe as I've written it has really great flavor, but is not spicy. You could add a little heat by increasing the crushed red pepper flakes. 

What favorite food would you like to find a healthier version of?
To leave a comment Click Here.