Welcome To Kristonia-Ink.com

Where Business, Blogging and Fitness Blend Together...

blogging business
Gimme a coffee and a laptop and I'm good to go

Hey guys, appreciate you visiting my spiffy new blog here.  So what's this all about?  Well, the headline pretty much says it all: business, blogging, fitness -- that's me, and that's what I'll be talking about.  This website is my digital journal.  It's a way for me to note-take on what I'm doing each day to improve in all three areas, and be able to look back on it whenever I want and easily see whether or not I'm doing what I need to reach the goals I've set for myself.  I'm incredibly passionate about getting lean and creating passive profits through my blogs.  I hope that shows through and adds some value into your life.  If you have any questions at all, you can reach me here

8/31/15: 7 Blogging Blunders To Avoid

Here are seven hangups I've personally experienced over the past few years of blogging.  Keep in mind, once I got over these roadblocks, I was able to build a multimillion dollar blogging business from the ground up.  No loans, no investors, no free ride.  Just hustle, consistency and pig-headed-stubbornness.  Avoid these seven blogging blunders and I know you'll be on your way as well:

  1. Failing to write daily.  I'm not saying you gotta write a novel or anything, but even one paragraph a day is so much better than, say, a 2,000 word post one day and nothing again for three days.  Get in the habit of blogging daily, even if it's not your best work.
  2. Failing to read daily.  You know what the best-kept secret is of all proficient bloggers?  Reading.  See, to get good at stringing sentences together, you gotta learn from other strong writers.  Pretty tough to do without reading, right?  Right.
  3. Not taking the time to edit your blog posts.  Great writing is 80% editing.  All the creativity and flow comes from going back and making  your first draft better.  Period. 
  4. Not investing in yourself.  The biggest ah-ha! moment I've had to date is learning that all of life's highest achievers -- be it actors, athletes, CEOs, philanthropists, etc. -- are "mentor-made."  They hire, rely on and build from the support and guidance of others who've already been there, done that.
  5. Not taking enough uninterrupted time to just sit and think.  All of my best ideas, funny one-liners, and so on?  Come to me when I'm NOT actively trying to write.  I've had million dollar ideas just pop into my mind when I was out running, for example. 
  6. Not building any momentum.  When you first start your WordPress blog, you could publish the best stuff anyone's ever seen.  But unless you put eyeballs on it?  Nobody's ever going to know it's even there.  Start the snowball down the hill by encouraging your friends and family to read and share your early work.  It'll catch momentum much faster.
  7. Not thinking big enough.  Read Grant Cardone's The 10X Rule.  He'll explain it much better than I ever could. 

8/30/15: Power Up Your Mind

If we want to make a difference in our lives we need to start out small and move forward a little at a time. Begin by setting aside time to do things for yourself even if you feel a little selfish about it.  Whether it's a night out with friends or reading a book all day it can make you feel good.  Personal interactions with friends and people you've known forever that you can laugh with and trust can be invigorating and leave you energized. You must learn to overcome your fears and hesitations about being wrong or looking silly.  We must each find our own coping mechanisms in how we can deal with our own stress.  Like playing in a sports game, we must learn how to play through a loss, play through pain, play through an embarrassing decision or take a timeout or go to the sidelines, but know you will need to get back in.  It can be motivating to power up your mind, body and voice.

Many of us would like to have less on our plate but it seems to be the nature of our lives to be busy.  We must feel confident and good about ourselves before we can be a good spouse, a good parent or become a school board member, or tackle losing weight.  Whatever you decide to take on be willing to commit to it.  You'll know where you need to go with it and you'll be motivated by a direct passion and self-interest.

Yesterday I was researching managed WordPress hosting solutions for a new blog that I plan on running paid traffic to.  It was like learning a foreign language.  But I forced myself through the painful due diligence process, confident I'd figure it out.  What do you know?  I did.  After reading this WP Engine review, I found my winner.  My point is twofold: one, get comfortable getting outta your comfort zone; and two, the internet can be an amazing roadmap if you use it correctly.  There are millions of websites about pretty much any topic, that can take you by the hand and walk you through a challenging situation.


Kick start your motivation whether it's quitting smoking, eating healthy, blogging daily or losing weight.  Set small goals for yourself.  If you have a bad habit of eating too much ice cream too many times a week, figure out how much of it you're eating and then start gradually cutting back.  If you haven't been exercising and have made a commitment to yourself to begin, take small steps.  Don't commit to running a marathon, start out with a walking routine and build off of where you started.  Add additional time and miles to your routine.  If you start out on the treadmill for five minutes a day, add another minute the next day.  If you miss a day, don't stress over it but get back on track the following day.  Just slowly think about how you can build off of this and how can you challenge yourself a little bit more, whether it's exercise or diet.  As you're slowly building up these pieces your body is adjusting and all of a sudden you will be walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes.  The idea of walking for five minutes a day becomes a thing of the past.  Same thing with typing 100 words.  Or reading 10 pages of a self-improvement book.  You get the idea.

We need to be more realistic about our health goals and not beat ourselves up when we slip.  Understand that you're going to slip but do your best to try to string together as many consecutive successful days as you can.  Once you have accomplished a pattern the routine becomes a habit and you will automatically be setting personal goals for yourself. I remember when I had decided I was going to run a 5k.  I started out with a walk/run routine until I was finally able to transition to running the entire time.  Once I had accomplished this goal I continued to challenge myself to longer runs and I've continued my running for now for several years.  It has now automatically developed into a habit as part of my exercise routine.

We can challenge ourselves to do whatever we want to accomplish.  Power up your mind to do what you want to accomplish and you will be successful.  Set small goals until they become routine.  The brain eventually automatically change your mindset to doing what you have trained it to do and it becomes a power habit.  Power up your mind, your body and your voice to make a difference in your life to live a happier and healthier lifestyle.

8/29/15: Getting Back To High School Weight

Getting out the high school picture album can be an eye opener when you see how much weight you have gained ten or twenty years later after high school.  Or someone has posted a Facebook picture of you on a girls night out at the local bar as you're sitting in front of a plate of cheese sticks and fried onion rings with a tall boy beer in one hand and maybe a cigarette in the other hand.  This has become your lifestyle and these eating habits have caused you over the years to put on an extra 50 pounds.  Exercising has come to a complete halt since you now have a family, a career and no extra time to fit it all in.  We can all relate and appreciate the numerous excuses when it comes to putting off exercising and eating healthy.

Seeing how good you look in that old high school picture or whether it's the picture from the bar showing just how bad you have become may trigger a  wake up call that you need to start changing your lifestyle. If you are overweight and smoke, it may be too overwhelming to think you can tackle both at the same time.  Many smokers have the mindset that they will gain weight if they quit smoking so you may want to tackle quitting smoking first.  Swap smoking for chewing gum.  If you can't tackle this on your own, get some professional help as there are many options available.  Once you have quit smoking it will give you the mindset that you can do anything.

Be realistic in your eating and begin by making small changes.  Remember you didn't gain the 50 pounds overnight so it will take time and effort to take the weight off.  Begin by simply scaling down on food portions.  Realize what a serving size is and stick to the proper serving portions.  You don't have to give up red meat if this is what you truly enjoy.  You can continue to eat red meats, just don't eat them every day.  Once you have a good handle on eating the proper food portions, gradually work on making better food choices.  You eventually find yourself looking at labels and finding better alternatives to chose from.

Incorporating exercise into your healthy eating habits is a win-win benefit to getting back on the right track.  I know when I exercise routinely I am more in tune with what I eat.  I know I will feel better if I eat foods that are beneficial for me and avoid the bad foods.  My running is easier and more enjoyable.  I'm simply more aware of what I'm eating and it eventually becomes an automatic mindset without thinking about it.  It becomes a habit.

Let your family know you are focused on maintaining a healthier lifestyle.  Hopefully, they will also jump on board and enjoy the benefits of eating healthy and heading to the gym with you.  I know my husband encourages me to exercise and eat healthy and we work together and encourage each other.

The reward for getting back into shape is the mindset of feeling good about yourself again and how you look, more confidence, more energy and a better attitude.  There will be difficult days but once you have established a pattern of eating healthy and exercising it becomes a habit and your brain will automatically resume to the healthy mindset you have in place.  You can feel good about yourself again and be that fit person in your high school picture.

8/28/15: The Truth About Traffic

Social media has been called a lot of things - the best thing since sliced bread, productivity killer or the next marketing wonder.  Social media traffic is as important to your website as breathing is to living.  You can utilize social media to assist you with your internet business.  Find the social media platform that your target audience seems to favor and stick with it while learning all the ins and outs of it.  Master the distinction of social media traffic generation from that platform and determine how to place most of it on autopilot.  Optimize your content for each network since each social network handles images and text differently.  Adding some variety and value to posts will take advantage of the strengths of each network.

Many businesses are publishing content as a way to build their audiences and increase traffic to their websites. However, that may not be getting everything available from each piece of content created.  If serious about the content then you also need to be serious about driving as much traffic to it over social media as possible.  Share your content on social media more than once.  After publishing a new blog post, promote that post on social media.  When sharing it with each of the networks it creates a certain number of clicks for each share.  The return on the effort can look great but when we share a link to that post a second time the next day the traffic doesn't double.  Sharing the content once again can more than double your results; the more often you share the more likely you are to get clicks.  Promoting content more than once is a good thing so long as you are doing it to provide value to your audience.  Be cautious not to repeat yourself and make people feel you are flooding them with the same message and repeated content over and over again.  Certain contents can be published again at a later time maybe on a span of one to three months while leaving adequate time between the repetitions.  It can go unnoticed and existing followers may not mind seeing it as well as it being fresh content for new ones.

Sharing content multiple times on social media can trigger strong reactions.  Some people don’t value the practice of sharing the same content more than once on a social account but it can be hard to argue with the results.   Does anyone really even care or notice?  If they do, what is the worst thing that can happen?  In reality, no one really notices everything you do.  Social media followers are more apt to see the updates if you share your links a few times.  Sharing more than once could potentially generate an essential part of providing an audience with the value you promise them.  Don't do anything that you wouldn't like; similar to how you would feel if you saw another user with your identical strategy.


Always monitor your results to be sure the changes you make to your social publishing are actually working.  Be aware of increases and decreases in the post activity.  Review negative feedback but don't let one complaint ruin it.  Monitor your post activity for slow fading interests in your content.  The key with social media traffic is building trust and relationships.  Being part of a cool, informative, valuable conversation with a potential customer will benefit you in getting the sale.  Strong feedback can be overwhelmingly positive as people feel comfortable on Facebook and like the interaction with others.  Mastering traffic generation has truly changed my life.  I don't always live like this picture, but I could and that's good enough for me:

8/27/15: Working From Home Rocks

As any office based employee who has ever worked from home knows, working from home can be a positive thing.  Home working enthusiasts will point to benefits such as higher efficiency, a better work-life balance, increased flexibility and a more motivated worker.   There are further advantages such as costs, which is one of the biggest motivators.  Working out of a basement, spare room or attic is not only convenient, it means you won't be incurring extra costs for rent or travel. 

With no commute to work you are saving valuable time.  If you calculated your time traveling to and from work in a week you could save almost a day a week.  Working from home is having the opportunity to keep a decent work-life balance or work-life blend.  Being your own boss is also appealing for anyone considering starting their own business or working from home - you don't have to have someone's okay you can make your own decisions and make it happen. 

Working from home can be as simple as needing only a computer or laptop and mobile phone.  But for most individuals working from home is more about lifestyle than costs or answering to someone else as the strongest driver for operating from home.

It is estimated in the next few years we could see one of the biggest shifts in the emergence of a networked society with fundamental changes to the way we work.  Home registered businesses have an impact on society, the environment and the economy.  They will bring economic benefits by operating on low costs which can increase profitability and bring new products to market, social advantages for parents staying at home to be with children and environmental value because people are staying off the roads at peak times.  Beyond the economic benefits, there are personal benefits to be gained by working from home with more time to exercise and being able to eat healthier. 

Exercising on a more regular basis is easier by being able to get to the gym in the middle of the day instead of trying to fit it in after work with a tight family schedule or simply too exhausted.  Or being able to grab a healthy lunch out of your own refrigerator instead of running to the local restaurant for lunch, which also factors in the cost savings.

If you do intend to work from home and be successful you need to give careful consideration about the disadvantages.  There can be a downside to working from home if you don't create a flexible space factor between work and family and social life.  You can find yourself getting totally immersed in work and unable to switch it off and always find work to do and it can become draining.  If you have a space you can walk away from it at the end of the day and feel that sense of work and life separation. 

There may also be unsociable and isolation hours which can be a common problem, but there are numerous online forums that people can go to to find others who are doing the same thing to get their perspectives.  If getting your technology organized becomes overwhelming, it may be beneficial and cost effective to retain an IT representative who can make it easier for your home business to launch.  You need to carefully plan what you need to work from home to succeed.  There's no reason you can't be successful with the right mindset.

What about finding a balance though?

People are demanding a greater work-life balance and more flexibility from the culture of the nine-to-five, five-days-a week office job.  As technology evolves it has become easier than ever before for businesses to keep their employees connected. 

Working from home enables an employee to make greater use of their downtime by being more relaxed at the start of a working day and improve the work-life balance.  All of these facts contribute to more productive time from an employee. 

Most employers couldn't care less if the employee was working during the day or at midnight.  The benefits to an employer were lower costs, happier staff and less attrition. Keeping a flexible, work from home informal environment enables productivity levels to increase.  This flexibility will be vital for companies looking to recruit and retain the best staff in the future as it is becoming an information world.  Working from home is something rapidly increasing in popularity.

While some may think working from home might have its disadvantages, it certainly has its benefits.  No more commute to work, a flexible schedule and the option to wear your sweatpants or yoga outfit all day if you want. However, there is much more to working from home than comfort.  Many people who decide to leave an office job to work at home do so because they want more time with their children. 

It can be a blessing for your family and allow you the freedom and flexibility of attending school activities and programs in the middle of the day.  On the other hand, when you work at home it can be real easy to sneak back into your office to check your email or to do some additional work.  To reap the benefits of working from home, you must learn to incorporate a work-life balance.  To combat the temptation to work all the time, set up a schedule around your family and social activities.  Be willing to work after the kids go to bed. 

A support network of babysitters may be beneficial to provide extra time when necessary. 

Motivating yourself from home is definitely easier if you wake up each morning looking forward to the project you're working on.  After that, it's simply about developing the same habits you would adopt if you had to go into an office.

Once you have settled into working from home you will get into a routine.  You will become increasingly aware of just how necessary it is for there to be a separation between working at home or running a business from home and being a parent or spouse. 

You can't juggle two things at the same time - family and work - so try to separate the two and only work when you have set aside that time.  It is important to remind yourself you probably aren't going to be successful at each all of the time.  You will work toward an efficient and productive work day, make it to the kids' activities, however, realistically that isn't going to happen every day.  Work on a schedule and routine and appreciate the things each day that do go well.

At the end of the day, remember it isn't the end of the world.  You turn your focus on how lucky you are to be able to work from home.  When you shift your perspective, everything else seems to work out naturally.

Last thing for today is, I wanna talk about managing your money before/after marriage... as this is something I have real experience with and may be able to offer some sage advice:

Everyone wants a successful financial future but many newlyweds only discuss their finances when it comes to the cost of the wedding or their upcoming honeymoon. Many new couples fall short because they fail to communicate about the basics.  A marriage has a higher likelihood of success if they can agree on children, religion, in-laws and money - no secret about this perception.  Couples must agree on the basics and discuss finances before the marriage.  Whether one or the other is good at handling money becomes pretty clear during the relationship prior to marriage.  The question is how will it be handled if one doesn't agree with the other on how the other handles money. 

It isn't going to be a deal breaker for most but couples but refusing to acknowledge the problem could be.  Couples must decide how they are going to handle their money and agree on how they feel about debt, savings, spending, etc.   Just because someone isn't good with their money doesn't disqualify them from being a good spouse but the attitude about it going forward probably will.

It is easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to combining two lives, especially when it comes to finances. Though each person may love and be committed to the other, they may have different ideas on what is financially important to their new family.  New couples can reduce their daily stress and understand their new financial situation by knowing the numbers.  It is essential the parties both understand the basics when it comes to the family's total income and outstanding debt and having a basic understanding of the monthly expenses.  Keeping track of their money and creating a budget that works for both can be beneficial.  Talking and discussing a budget will allow them to both be on the same page by acknowledging it as their income and their debt.

Managing debt should be a priority for any married couple.  There are good debts assumed to be on the way to a positive result such as a mortgage; and there are bad debts assumed through overextending on the purchase of a car and the overuse of credit cards, etc.  And it can be a difficult task avoiding the abuse of credit cards for newlyweds starting out.  Purchasing new furniture and appliances through a credit card offering zero percent interest if paid within a certain time period can be a good option. 

However, when that deadline comes and a balance remains the full interest most likely will be taxed onto the credit card at a high rate creating a potential for further delay in paying off the debt.  A good management practice is to pay off debt with the highest interest rate as quickly as possible.  Once that debt has been paid off apply that payment to the next-highest debt.  The budget should make both parties happy and reflect joint decisions, which allows them to tackle the debt, pay the monthly bills and implement a savings plan for the future.

It is never too early to start a savings plan for the future and a savings for the unknown emergencies.  A good start is putting three to six months of household income into a savings account to help in case of an emergency. Review of the monthly household budget will assist in determining how many months you can survive if someone becomes injured or ill.  Determine which savings path is right by considering how long you can let the money work for you before you need it, how much risk you are willing to take and how long you expect the money to last once you start taking withdrawals.  Life insurance is often neglected due to the low probability of death at a young age, but it can increase your investment as you live.

Communicating about money and planning for the future is an important topic to cover before the wedding day.  If that is neglected, sit down with your spouse and a professional to discuss your financial goals for the future right away. Managing life is a balancing act and it is an ongoing process so take these simple ideas to help build a strong financial future for a family.  The hardest part of saving for the future is getting started.

8/26/15: Power Thoughts?

(Before I get into my notes, here's a YouTube video that sort of sets the stage for what this book is all about... )

It's All In Your Mind.  Whatever you hold in your mind will attend to occur in your life.  If you act as you have always acted you will continue to get what you have always gotten.  We can change our minds as our minds mature throughout our lifetime.  Our thoughts cause us to have certain attitudes and relationships - personally and professionally.  There is power in our thoughts.  If you intend to own your own business some day, get a college degree or improve your health and are really serious about it, you will eventually do it.  Goals can change due to twists and turns, but they can also create new options never considered.  If your initial goal wasn't realized it can change your mindset to firmly believe each thing you did will provide experience in the next goal.  If your mindset is failure - you think you can't do or attain something - the odds are you probably won't as your mind has that much influence over your life.

Mindset can work for you or against you.  Others may provide encouragement that you can do it - when that mindset is instilled with encouragement it becomes you can do it to I can do it and it happens.  When we believe we think we can do something, somehow we manage to get it done.  The same is true when we think negatively - if you think you're not smart enough or diligent enough it will become prophecy.

Direct results of our own thoughts affect relationships, finances, health, productivity, our priorities and our ability to enjoy life.  We become what we think - if we think positive thoughts we will become positive.  We cannot think ourselves into being able to do anything, but the power of our thoughts will change our mind.  It is impossible to change our lives unless we change our thoughts.  We have choices concerning our thoughts and doing so will make a difference.  We have the ability to control our thoughts and change our thinking once we realize it is possible to do so.  However, thinking correctly can be a battle as our mind is a battlefield of winning or losing.  The biggest problems we face often result in wrongful thinking.  Healthy thought patterns affect our lives and work to build a powerful mindset in many aspects.  The only way to change your life is to change your thinking and gain new mental habits when you commit to renewing your mind.   The choice is yours as no one else can do it for you; it is your mind and you can change your life.  We naturally think by the way we have been raised or by our surroundings.  The mind can be a junkyard or a treasure chest as power enhances thoughts or power drains thoughts.  If we take no action to change our mind, things will remain the same or possibly become worse.

The power of a positive attitude will help you be successful in life.  And nothing will hinder you more in life than a bad attitude.  Thoughts of feeling a job is too boring, too demanding and no appreciation can result in one big bad attitude.  There will be no valuable contribution to a company with this attitude, nor is being negative about a job going to change your employer.  It does, however, change your mind to power draining.  A good attitude - this is a great job, feeling a part of the team with coworkers, doing your part, committed to being focused or willing to work hard for a raise - even if the employer never recognizes the worker - that employee will lead a better life.  It is up to each of us to choose our attitude no matter what the situation and the key word is choosing.  Our minds can be on autopilot but we can choose to change.   We can choose our thinking and change not just what falls into our minds.

We all need an attitude adjustment sometimes.  If our attitudes are down we may fall.  A positive attitude will help us fly high in life and a negative attitude will drag us down.  Maintain the right attitude when the going gets rough.  Be determined to keep a positive attitude no matter what the situation, which will train your mind to be able to handle a more serious situation when it comes along.  Maintain a good attitude to help turn your life around.  If you think you can't change your attitude you are defeated before you try.  Discipline yourself to maintain a positive attitude.

Realize that the rough times won't stay forever.  Seasons change in regard to our lives - we have off days, tough weeks or bad years, but every negative experience does come to an end.  We complain or become discouraged, but this can change.  We survive difficult times and usually learn from them.  We need to remind ourselves we can bring something good out of a bad time.  We all face crises in life and when we do we must remain calm and not make decisions to avoid making bad decisions.  Focus on letting your emotions subside before you decide.  As much as possible, put significant decisions aside while your storm passes as it is not the best time to make major decisions.  Stay in touch with your control power.

Try to keep things in perspective.  When we lack proper perspective we believe things are worse than what they are.  Form a habit of looking at the whole of life and avoid thinking obsessively about things that bother you.  A positive you is a powerful you.  A positive attitude allows you to make the best of any situation and the more powerful you will be.

Teach your mind to work for you as it can work for or against you.  A positive attitude helps your mind maintain that positive attitude.  The brain is home for our thoughts - our mind.  The way we think is voluntary and we can control our thoughts and teach our mind to work for us instead of against us.  The brain takes 18 years to grow and a lifetime to mature in our thinking.  Our mind could be working against us such as our physical health.  A positive attitude isn't just a state of mine as well-being individuals have a healthier heart with lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.  And a positive attitude can add more years to your life than not smoking.  A positive attitude also decreases stress, lowers our resistance to the common cold, reduces coronary diseases,  and provides better coping skills during hardships.

Positive thinking is good for our attitude and beneficial to our physical well-being.  Clearly, positive thinking brings positive results by the power of potential, encouraging positive responses, keeping things in perspective and helping you to enjoy life.  It releases the power of potential and the power to see the most in a situation.  Positive speech encourages positive responses - the way you communicate to someone will encourage a positive response.  Negativity can be contagious; don't let someone silence you.  Positive thinking keeps things in perspective and avoids making a mountain out of mole hill, making things more difficult than what they are, or anything in your life you are blowing out of proportion.  Enjoy life - God has a great life for us.  Don't let the positive become negative.  Look at the situation as a whole and find something positive.

If we have the mindset that we expect something to turn out well it probably will.  A positive mindset becomes reality.  However, for many people it has become a habit of thinking negative thoughts of what can go wrong.  It is a bad habit that should be broken.  This negativity is referred to as polarizing - making it personal by blaming someone else when something goes wrong.  Most things come with challenges but having a positive attitude will help you overcome it.  Realize everything can't be perfect all the time.

People allow what they think to influence them and perception becomes reality.  If you think you will never get a good job you probably never will.  Allowing thoughts to become reality can lead to many problems.  An anorexic person has allowed the perception they are overweight and the image appears to them they are a great deal larger than what they are.  They cannot separate what is true and what is not.  This can be a battle for the truth and changing that mindset is challenging.  Other people battle with always wanting to do their own thing and never wanting to take direction from anyone.  This rebellion is responsible for many unpleasant results and can lead to terrible problems.  If you change that mindset and separate from what is true and what is not and live according to the truth there will be great benefits.  The battle for truth takes place in our mind.

Don't be ignorant in understanding the enemy in your mind and its strategies. Strongholds are wrong mindsets and renewing the mind will lead to proper thinking.  Pair down strongholds by reasoning and leading wrong thoughts away.  Thinking you are useless and failing at anything you do is a stronghold which can be changed by applying positive thoughts.  Experiencing victory in all areas of your life will allow you to see results in everything you do.  You can break free from these strongholds and stay free.

Applying truths to your life will change your life.  Work on eliminating wrong thoughts into your head by changing your mindset that you aren't going to think them.  When the negative thoughts return you think about something good.  Filling your mind with good things leads no room for bad things to get in.  Believe you must be able to do something or you won't even try.  You must be responsible for your thoughts and capture the power to resist negative thoughts.  It will lead to a better life by thinking better thoughts.  Only we can make the decision to take personal responsibility for how we think and allow time as an investment to renew our mindset to thinking positively.

We have on-purpose thinking and we can discipline our minds to be in control. Concentrating on the negative will always lead to negative thoughts.  We can avoid this behavior by not allowing our thoughts to be out of control.  We have the ability to make ourselves happy by how we think and by taking action to ensure that something good will happen.  We can control what we think and choose our thoughts and be satisfied with the consequences of our thoughts.  Exercising self-control and making wise choices is called on-purpose thinking. The most obvious ways our thoughts affect our mood is by great thinking and believing we have a great life.  Power enhancing thoughts - breaking bad habits and forming good habits.  On-purpose thinking is directly connected to your quality of life, your life will change if you follow the change in your thoughts and incorporate those changes in your life.

Set your mind and keep it set.  Think about things that are important and doing so will fill your mind.  Setting your mind means to make up your mind firmly and once set it will be in place for good.  Determine decisively what you will think or do in a situation and you cannot be persuaded to do otherwise.  You can remain open to learning, growing and changing but resist temptations to negative changes.  Many people think real life isn't that positive.  Keeping that mindset is inviting misery into your life.  Be firm in your resolve to think good thoughts; think what could be instead of what was and be firm in your mind before temptations.  You will be tempted with negative thoughts so you need to think ahead of time those situations which may pose a problem.  Whether it is exercise, debt, cleaning out the garage or dieting - set your mind for total victory and finish what you start.  Think positive thoughts and speak positive words.  Once you have a foundation in place, making the right decision will be easier when you are prepared.  Preparing your mind ahead of time you will be able to say no to temptations.  Set your mind and heart in the right direction.  Setting your mind to overcome them is the pathway to victory.

Renew your mind with new ideas and attitude.  Not being able to control your thoughts is an improper mind.   The longer improper thoughts remain in your mind the harder they are to get rid of them and it takes a strong determination to overcome.  Renewing you mind doesn't happen quickly and it takes time and energy.  You will need to think about them over and over and guard against falling into old patterns and eventually wrong thoughts will gradually make you uncomfortable.  Persistence and renewing the mind can change your way of thinking.

Concentrate on the things currently at hand.  It takes focus and determination.  Your intention may be good but if you don't focus on the task you may never accomplish it.  We have uninvited guests - thoughts that hinder us from reaching our goals.  Incorporate think sessions to change the contents of our thoughts to positive.  It takes mental energy to set our minds to create positive thoughts and keep those positive thoughts set and break up the bad habits.

Thinking about your problems all day long can lead to a negative and overpowering attitude.  Or you can choose to meditate on something positive and eventually you will think them on purpose - power thoughts.  Watch your actions before they become habits. Meditation is a process that allows the brain to process as it should and is good for your mind.  Writing and/or saying them out loud can be good practice and will benefit you in changing your life and changing your purpose.  Through Christ you can do whatever you need to do and do whatever life hands you.

Throughout our lives we will all have things in our lives that we cannot face - a death in the family, being on a strict diet, budgeting or caring for elderly parents.  Most of us eventually face some kind of circumstance we aren't sure we can handle. Some things may be very difficult but having faith in Christ will give you the strength to do whatever you need to do in life when those challenges arise. There are times when things will not be easy but we can enjoy life in the midst of doing them if we understand we are not alone.  The secret is that we cannot do it alone - we must rely on our faith to believe and act.  Nothing can be too difficult or hard to get through with the right mindset.

Trials in life are the result of someone else's carelessness.  By keeping the right mindset your mind believes it can do whatever it needs to do and you will be able to do it or get through that challenging situation. Words are containers for the right power when you fill them with the right power thoughts.  Negative comments throughout your life can discourage you into believing you cannot do something.  Believe in yourself and put the past thoughts of negativity behind you.  Tell yourself you can and let your thoughts outpower and refuse to give up.  We all face challenges and we can become overwhelmed with those challenges.  Get mentally prepared to overcome challenges and repeat you can do whatever you need to do which will help you to prepare.

Changing our habits can improve our mindset. Exchange "I can't" thoughts with "I can" thoughts and you will see remarkable changes begin to happen. And it's never too late to change.  Your attitude is more important than challenges.  The multi-millionaire of Wendy's restaurant, Dave Thomas, is a good example.  He was adopted shortly after he was born.  When he was just five years old his mother died and his single dad moved from town to town looking for work.  At the age of 12 he landed his first job at a restaurant counter and loved it.  When he was 15 his father decided to move but Dave did not want to relocate.  He decided to stay and moved into the YMCA, dropped out of school and went to work full-time.  Several years later his Hobby House boss, who also owned four failing KFC restaurants, sold them to Thomas.  In four years, Thomas turned them around financially and sold them back to KFC and received a portion of the profits. Thomas started Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant chain and became a millionaire at the age of 35.  He became an innovative and respected leader.  He earned his GED 45 years later after dropping out of school.  Thomas overcame the insurmountable odds and pressed through and became one of the most admired individuals.  He could not have done so by thinking "I can't" and he accomplished his goals by working hard.  The world is faced with people like him.

Maintaining that wholeheartedly feeling you can do what you want to do you will keep going to achieve your goals even with tremendous odds.  You may have noticed how easy it was for a friend's ability to improve his health by working out at the gym and eating healthy.  He did so well, can I do this?  Something that sounds like more fun to do will you keep going.  If you maintain the thought you can do whatever you want will allow you to force through the challenges and give you the power to do it.  Don't fear the day but look forward to it with passion and enthusiasm.

You can overcome obstacles in your life by throwing away your excuse bag. If you're a quitter, you blame everything on something or someone else; when something is too difficult or too hard you say you hadn't planned on this or I don't know how to do this - it's time to throw away your excuse bag and fill it with I can do it. Weakness and inability attitude needs to be changed to you have the ability and a can do attitude.  What excuse do you use most?  Stop believing and start using I can do it.  We have all reached into our excuse bag many times over the years.  Maybe you've never been dedicated to exercising and always had some excuse - no time, too difficult, too challenging, etc.  Change your mindset to "I can" and take it one day at a time.  Stop looking at it down the road as it was too challenging.  You will start to see the benefits of regular working out and figure out how to eliminate other things to allow you time to exercise. Refuse to give up. Like a new workout - I thought I couldn't do it and had told the coach it was too hard and she suggested I only do four sets instead of five.  But once I was faced with that challenge my mind told me yes I can do it and I finished the five sets.  These same principles apply to many areas of life - whether it's getting out of debt, marriage problems, being on time for work or completing a project - you can do it.  You have the strength.

What have you wanted to do but thought you could not?  Having confidence helps you realize you can handle it.  Believe in whatever you need to do in life.  You don't need to live with anxiety - you know you can handle it as defeat isn't an option.  Begin to think every day you can do it and you are equal to anything.  Let it role over and over in your mind and it will skyrocket.  The right thinking is the beginning to a better life.

In what specific situation do you need to believe in to make it work for you?  If you think you are physically tired most of the time you need to change that mental mindset.  If we think about being tired too long, we will believe this.  Power pack to provide strength for all things that empower us.  Deliberate in getting that truth ingrained in your mind.  Verbally tell yourself daily you can do it.  This more positive approach to life actually energizes you.  Thinking about negative circumstances for too long can overwhelm us.  Look to Christ for his help and there is nothing that we cannot do.  God loves us unconditionally.  What is wrong with me many of us have asked ourselves.  It is designed to make us feel like we are not what we are meant to be and prevents us from being what we want to be.  Knowing God loves us unconditionally helps us overcome negative thoughts and helps us accept ourselves.  We must get comfortable with being loved unconditionally.  I do things that are wrong but believe I am still loved.  My children still love me and I love them no matter what mistakes they make.  Learn to do your best every day.  Admit your faults and mistakes and move on.

Most of us are sorry for our sins and we have feelings of guilt and fear. We need to believe that God loves us unconditionally. It is so amazing to open your mind to this mindset and power. Don't live in fear when you have been given dignity and control. Sort out your negative feelings. How would your life be if it were free from fear? Fear can affect us physically and triggers stress and our hormones. It can drive us to do things that are irrational and be powerful in our lives. It drains our courage and prevents us from making progress - fear of sacrifice, fear of pain, fear of being alone, and on and on. Boredom can often be the result of fear and many people are so unsatisfied with their lives they want to stay within their fear zone.

Be courageous and not fearful.  Feeling fear is not equal to being afraid because fearful feeling is not letting fear get the best of you.  It will never go away completely but we can choose to ignore it.  Do not shrink back from fear.  No matter how you feel keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will make progress.  Choose to be confident instead of fearful.  Make the decision you will not be afraid and renew your confidence. You may be contemplating a career change because you are unhappy with your current job but your fear of a job change has caused you to stay in the position you dislike.  Learn to follow your heart and keep going forward even though fear was telling you you might fail.  Move beyond fear and continue to make progress.

Fill yourself with faith and you will be stronger and more energetic.  Focus on power thoughts that will enable you and keep fear out of your life.  We need freedom from fear if what we think, how we look, what we say or what we do must be approved by others - approval addiction.  Isolate fears and overcome them. A supervisor or authority figure may cause you to be uncomfortable around them and ultimately cause you to make mistakes.  That negative and fearful attitude must be overcome.  Faith is a matter of the heart and the more aware you are of this the better your life will be.

We must learn to be difficult to offend - forgive those who offend us or hurt our feelings.  Get a new mindset of not being offended will make your life more enjoyable.  Don't give your life to someone else to destroy your day.  Don't give into temptations of offense and allow these emotions play into your life.  Meditate that you are difficult to offend.  Forgiving can be hard to do.  Being offended doesn't change the person but can change you without the right mindset.  Renew your mind that you are difficult to offend and you will be unbeatable.  Forgiving those who offend us is one of the best things we can do.  Prepare yourself ahead of time for victory.

Learn to respect that everyone has their own opinion.  You can believe the best or the worst.  Believe in the best about others and resist the temptation to think they will hurt you intentionally.  Do your best to believe the best.  We are sometimes more touchy when we are tired than when we are rested.  Times when we are tired we need to minimize the potential for offense to others.  Address concerns at a good time to avoid being offensive.  Give yourself a verbal reminder you will not be offensive nor be offended by others.  Don't let your emotions take control and use caution and wisdom.

As we get older we learn life is precious so don't waste your time.  We allow our feelings to control us and don't get around to making the decisions we need to make.  Make responsible decisions and let those feelings control you.  Extend to others forgiveness as you can ruin your life by not forgiving others.  Forgive for your own sake.  You will be happier and feel better physically if you allow forgiveness.  We can move on with our lives if we don't hold onto offense and don't let emotions take over.  Being patient, kind and gentle with others and wise enough not to allow them to offend us we can control how we respond to them.  Guard against offense and anger.  Be a role model for your children and teach them to be difficult to offend.  This mindset will be effective and they will grow up with complete forgiveness and could save them years of pain and frustration.  They will automatically be a person who is difficult to offend and become a better person.

Love people and enjoy helping them.  Real love has little to do with emotions and more to do with the choices and decisions we make in how we treat people.  Fill your mind with generous loving thoughts and ask yourself how will you put love into your day.  We all think what about ourselves - selfishness and self-centeredness is in all of us.  We believe our unhappiness is someone's else's fault.  Be a role model and don't waste your time thinking about what you can do for yourself but what you can do for others.

Love and be kind to others.  We have the ability to choose to help others rather than what about me.  Think on purpose how you can be a blessing to the people around you and use what you have to meet the needs of others.  Develop a new mindset of enjoying helping people.  Don't ask that you can be blessed but how you can bless someone else and what you can do to make someone else's life better.  Use the blessings in your life to blessing someone else's life in countless ways.  You will experience joy in the midst of your own troubles and be more blessed to give than to receive and it makes you happier to give.  Power thought of helping people.

Being greedy will drain the life out of you.  What ways can you become more generous.  Generous giving does not come natural for us.  Power thought you are a generous person as the opportunities are all around us.  People want to know you are listening to them.  The more you give the happier you will be - giving tips, gifts, complementing others, sharing with others - and meditating on this power will help you reach your goal.  Be mindful to be a blessing.

Worry is completely useless and never changes the circumstances.  Many illnesses are caused by negative thought patterns.  Worrying will keep us from trusting.  Avoid worry by reminding yourself that it does no good at all; it never gets us anywhere and if we worry too long it will wear on you.  We spend most of our time taking care of ourselves and thinking we can take care of our own problems.  Trust God to help you meet your needs and you will choose trust over worry.  Focus on releasing your worry and concerns.  Focusing on a problem will only make it worse and fails to allow you to see what could be done.  Whatever you focus on can become bigger and bigger than what it really is and you actually begin to meditate on it. The more we think and talk about our problems the larger they become.  Focus your mind to concentrate on good things and highlight what is good.  Choose your own thoughts. Choosing to worry becomes a practice but we can learn to trust our thoughts.  It can become a habit of choosing what is in our hearts to become more real to our minds instead of negative or worry.  Faith develops and grows we will have less worries.  God provides the way out.

Reasoning causes confusion and vulnerability to perception.  Thinking about it too long can cause confusion and worry.  Use power thoughts that help solve problems.  If we try to make changes in someone we love, we can do a lot of damage in trying to change them as they may feel pressured and rejected.  The right time is important when discussing change.  Reasoning is a form of worry.

Rest your mind.  We are overloaded with worry in life and our minds need a rest from taking care of problems.  Worry steals rest so let your mind have a rest.  How can you put your mind at rest - release the weight of worry.  We know we shouldn't worry but it is another thing to quit worrying.  Nothing gets any better from worrying about a problem and it can become a bad habit.  Release the weight of worry by prayer. People say they try not to worry but can't help it.  Fill your mind with good thoughts and there will be no room for the bad; staying busy doing what is right there will be no room for doing what is wrong.  The wrong thinking pattern in your life the more difficult it is to change it.

The most difficult burden we have in life is our self.  There will always be situations we must deal with.  Helping others will keep your mind off of you.  We overcome evil with good.  Trust God and you stop worrying and will do good.  Meditate on this power thought there is no need to worry and habitually look for what is good and worry less.  Most of us practice doing the wrong things.  Redoing our mind is like redoing our computer.  Learn new ways to process new ways and overcome the old ways.  It takes faith and patience and no matter how long it takes to renew your mind with these power thoughts just keep at it as you are training your mind to work for you instead of against you.  Where the mind goes, the man follows.

Contentment and being emotionally stable are powerful habits.  Don't let your circumstances control your moods.  None of us like to have days filled with negative thoughts nor do others around us.  Use faith in your heart to think and talk positive.  Emotional stability should be a main goal and not allow emotions to control us.  Emotions won't go away but you can learn to control them.  Learn what upsets you the most and watch out for those temptations.

Become more stable emotionally and learn to level out your ups and downs.  Renew your mind to become stable and content.  We will never eliminate our emotions but we can learn to control them.  Patience and self-control is the key and wisdom encourages patience.  Emotions urge us toward haste but wisdom tells us when to do it.

Self-control allows us the privilege to chose what we will do.  Develop self-control by using it through discipline.  When in doubt, don't.  When faced with decisions practice self-control before taking a step you might regret.  Control your emotions and don't let them control you.  Exercise patience and self-control.

Discontentment and emotional instability go hand-in-hand.  Being consistently content affects our emotions.  We see what others have and become discontent.  We always think we will be content "when," but keep a positive attitude and be content with what you have.  Achieve a level of contentment in your life with the little things and the big things.  Power thought on positive things in your life.  Meditate on what you can be thankful for and practice being thankful.

Stop meditating on wrongful things and repeating that cycle.  Think you are emotionally stable and content.  When you fall, get up and try again.  Realize you can be stable and content and eventually you will be.  It is important to develop a positive mindset.

We need healthy prosperity of our mind and sole.  We should have respect for money and never waste it.  We should be grateful of what we have.  With an "I need" attitude will cause people to fear they will never have enough.  If we go through a season of lack we will become fearful.  All circumstances of needs cause people to fear they will never have enough.  Develop the mindset of abundance in your life and meditate on great expectations.

We sometimes live in fear and not live according to our means.  We can't spend money on things we can't afford but we shouldn't feel bad about spending on things we can afford.  A cheap attitude will hinder your ability to meet prosperity.  Develop the mindset you are a generous giver and the more you give to others the happier you will be.  Live with an attitude of expectancy.  Don't settle for something less than what you really want. Meditate and on being content and emotionally stable.

Be at peace with God.  When we make mistakes we should never withdraw.  Admit your mistakes and you will be forgiven.  Do your best and God will do the rest.  We all make mistakes but most of us don't do them on purpose.  We are loved unconditionally and we must learn to forgive.  We all have weaknesses but we should do our best.  How we treat ourselves is how we treat others.  Everyone has faults and we cannot stress over them.  See your strengths and not your weaknesses.  You must like yourself to be at peace with yourself.

Enjoy stress free relationships.  Manage to have balanced expectations with people.  Don't expect people to be perfect.  People will disappoint you but you must not let that affect your relationship. We are not all alike and are all uniquely different.  Try not to change people into what you think they should be.  Accept and appreciate that person as they are or they will resent you by feeling the pressure.  Realize we all have weaknesses and celebrate our differences rather than having a disagreement or feeling of disappointment.  Give them freedom to be who they are.

We love to be around people who encourage us.  When training becomes nagging we have crossed a line in a relationship.  The more we encourage people the better they behave and the better they perform.  Encouraging a person will change them into becoming a more positive person.  If you want to be encouraged, start giving encouragement.  Adapt to others rather than giving up a relationship.  Pursue peace with others and depart from evil and crave peace.

We need to enjoy every day of our life and enjoy the present moment.  We are so busy we can put off enjoying our family and friends.  Being focused is a good thing but you can fail to enjoy the magic of the moment.  We should be celebrating life with the joys in our lives.  We need to know how to work but we also need to know how to play, relax and enjoy each moment.  Take time to enjoy what you are doing and enjoy every aspect of your life.  We can learn to enjoy all of life which others may consider boring.  Those who are unhappy fail to set their mind to enjoying life.  The more you enjoy life the more enjoyable you will be.

There is nothing wrong with having fun.  Many have a feeling of guilt when they are not working and having fun.  Enjoy one another and enjoy yourself.  Enjoy life in the midst of accomplishing things and you will be more productive.  We can learn to enjoy daily things we do in life.  Appreciate each moment you are given.

There are keys to enjoy the present moment.  Stress and confusion are not the way to enjoy the moment.  Don't multitask excessively and refrain from doing more than one thing at a time.  Focusing on a conversation will allow you to enjoy the moment and build a better relationship.  Break the bad habit of multitasking and form new balanced habits.  Learn to control your thinking.  Children can find a way to enjoy everything around them.  Realize people can be annoying but learn to accept them.  Thoughts on parenting kids that have truly helped me:

  1. Setup a schedule or calendar that motivates your children to conquer and check off at least a few tasks each day.  My son and I do a 2-minute workout every night, for example.  It's quick and easy, but it makes him feel accomplished and after a few days, he was looking forward to it.
  2. Guide them by going over-the-top on congratulating them for doing good (picking up toys, washing their hands, sharing with their siblings, etc.) instead of harping on them or being overly critical when they do bad.  In this way, just like with bullet number one, they're actively trying to do the right thing instead of being in fear of doing the wrong things.
  3. Have them read and write daily.  Even if it's just 5-minutes of each.  Getting into the routine of reading and writing something every single day is a habit that'll serve them incredibly well for life.

Maintain a life of balance.  Doing too little or too much can be a lack of balance for enjoying life.  Do things in moderation and avoid burnout.  Let go of your past if it is a heavy burden in your life.  You can choose your own thoughts and let your past go. Live in the present and enjoy each moment.  Know what matters in life and focus on those things.  Decide which battles are worth taking on or letting go.  You must enjoy your work to enjoy your life.  Don't wait to enjoy yourself as nobody knows what will happen next.  Embrace it and celebrate it.  Be serious enough to accomplish your goals in life but allow spontaneity in enjoyment of life.

Be disciplined and maintain self-control.  The harder the conflict the more glorious the goal.  A disciplined life is a powerful life.  Learning to be disciplined and to practice self-control will keep you from laziness and help you stay focused and productive.  It will require you to make an effort and the reward will be worth the work. A disciplined life begins with a disciplined mind.  Discipline is the price of freedom.  If we aren't disciplined we cause many problems.  By not eating healthy we become slaves to fats and sugars which are detrimental to our health.  We eat it anyway and are not willing to discipline ourselves to make better choices.  Practice discipline in what we allow ourselves to see and hear.

8/25/15: Avoid the Urge to Splurge

If you're like me, you have a few favorite foods that are not going to be listed in the "eat this" section.  I enjoy potato chips or a bowl of ice cream now and then even though I know it is a treat I should avoid.  Levels of certain chemicals rise when we eat our favorite foods.  It can turn on our brain's reward system which overrides the signals that we've had enough.

We're programmed to crave a variety of healthy foods, except when we eat junk foods.  Fatty or sugar-laden foods act like drugs in the brain.  Fatty foods can increase unhealthy cholesterol which can clog blood flow to the brain.  Sugary stuff contributes to diabetes and may up the risk for Alzheimer's by slowing insulin flow to the brain.  Fatty foods can deprive you of the feel-good chemical dopamine and increase your risk of depression.  Junk foods rewire the brain's reward pathways just as addictive drugs can do.  Drinking sugary soda every day will age yourself.  Keeping your weight in check can keep all of your moving parts and joints healthy and happy.  Fat cells produce inflammatory proteins that may set the stage for rheumatoid arthritis.  Regular exercise is important for weight control and strong bones and doing both will reduce the risk for rheumatoid arthritis.

A standard low-fat regimen is actually not particularly heart healthy.  Unsaturated fats in olive oil, avocado, peanut butter and some nuts and seeds can actually slash your risk of heart disease.  The true villain besides trans fats is eating too much sugar.  Sugar raises triglycerides, lowers good cholesterol and contributes to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.  Limiting sugar, both added sugars and simple carbs like pasta which turns to sugar in the body, may well be the next study for heart-healthy dietary guidelines.

Most of us keep an eye out for calories and fat.  That sandwich for lunch, however, may be sabotaging that goal.  The wrong sandwich can contain sodium overload.  Clean up your condiments.  Instead of mayo, spread your bread with half of a smashed avocado.  Pass on the pastrami and go for no salt added tuna.  Also check the sodium in bread.  Go for extra veggies on your sandwich.  That cheese slice can be replaced with sliced tomato or julienned carrots.

Choose a lot more of organic fruits and vegetables.  Eat whole grains like oats, rye and barley.  Eat sustainably caught fish and seafood and small quantities of grass-fed meats.  Wild foods such as berries, herbs and mushrooms are superfoods.  Avoid all-purpose flours, refined grains, pastas and white rice.  Cook at home instead of eating fast food.  Avoid unhealthy fats like trans fats.  Eat fiber-rich foods to help keep you feeling fuller longer.

Do your best and be consistent when it comes to the urge to eat unhealthy foods.  The bottom line is that small changes can make a difference.  Anytime you make a move in the right direction, even the slightest bit, makes a big difference.  Slow down and eat mindfully and you will enjoy food more and eat smaller portions.  Feel grateful for the chance to indulge rather than guilty for doing so.  Imagine yourself calm.  If you tell yourself that you're stressed and unhealthy that's how you'll end up.  Practice meditating on a positive word or phrase about eating and being healthy and your body and mind will respond.


8/24/15: Health Truths

When conflicting medical reports surface it is tough to know whether to switch or stay the course.  One week eating eggs is bad and new studies show they are now considered a superfood.  Popping a multivitamin is good and eating soy is bad; the next week it's the reverse.  Contradictory research seems to be the norm in the science world but when new findings surface it can be confusing.

Soy foods are now considered safe for all women.  Soy contains antioxidants and vitamins that can benefit all women, including breast cancer survivors.  Soy has also been associated with lower lung cancer risk.  Enjoy a serving a day of soy but don't go overboard.  Soy is like chocolate and wine - it's good in moderation.  The new thinking on adding fat to veggies is it makes each bite more nutritious.  Salads are bursting with important vitamins and minerals but if you stick with fat-free dressing or bypass it entirely you are shortchanging yourself as fat enhances the absorption of the good compounds found in veggies.  This doesn't mean you can drench your salad with creamy Italian or blue cheese dressing.  Instead use canola or olive based dressings to optimize your veggies' nutritional value.

Taking a daily multivitamin seemed to be a good way to fill in the gap when it's hard to be sure you're getting all those in your diet.  Now it may be too much of a good thing as every compound can be toxic if the dose is high enough. Focus on getting vitamins from food as it is possible to get sufficient nutrients from your diet.  If you generally consume veggies, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and low fat dairy foods and avoid saturated fats, trans fats and added sugars you should be in good nutritional shape.  However, if you know you aren't eating great or cutting calories in an attempt to lose weight, taking a multivitamin can be beneficial.  Most adults do not get enough vitamin D which helps protect against serious diseases.  It is recommended that everyone take at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, and more if blood tests show you are low.  Of course, if you have other detected vitamin deficiencies you are best off taking individual supplements to increase those specific nutrients.

Eating a high protein diet has a higher risk of death from cancer and diabetes if you are 65 or under.  Moderate or high amounts of protein for those aged 65 or older led to lower health risks.  Older adults tend to lose weight and be more frail so a boost in protein can benefit their immunity.

Research has shown that honey is an excellent source for healing.  It can relieve a cough better than over the counter meds and has substantial antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory powers.  Eating almonds is healthier than eating walnuts and nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids which are good for our joints.  Broccoli has become a power food to help your body flush out toxins.

Your mood has much to do with what you pile on your plate.  Healthy people ate healthier and grumpy people eat more junk food.  When in a good mood you value long-term nutrition goals over immediate taste without even realizing it.  Change one habit and you can change your whole life.  Continue to monitor updated research studies to stay informed on the changes to assist you in making the best choices.

8/23/15: Diet Success

The number one secret to diet success is transitioning your bad eating habits to better eating habits in small steps.  This will teach your body to enjoy healthy foods that satisfy hunger and automatically shed inches.  Be realistic about dieting.  You aren't going to give up your favorite potato chip for kale chips overnight.  This is why most diets fail as they deprive the body of the foods it's accustomed to and a move that sets you up for a weight gain relapse.

Determination doesn't matter either as your brain will literally go through withdrawal and you'll feel hungry all the time.  Studies have shown that when access to sugar and chocolate flavored foods are withheld our brains pump out above levels of the same stress hormone unleashed in drug addicts trying to kick the habit.  Baby steps are the best way to reform your palate.  Your brain needs two to four weeks to adapt and adjust and wean yourself off bad foods.

If you are accustomed to fried chicken, try baking the chicken and adding barbeque sauce.  Much of the saturated fat is gone but the barbeque sauce still contains the good taste of sugar and salt.  Next time prepare parmesan chicken which contains little or no sugar added; and add no more than four teaspoons of shredded cheese to control the fat and calories.  Eventually grilling or baking chicken can save on saturated fat and calories compared to fried chicken.

Eating iceberg lettuce, which has few phytonutrients, and adding two tablespoons of creamy dressing adds roughly 15 grams of fat.  Switch to romaine lettuce, which contains antioxidants, with one tablespoon of creamy dressing and you will decrease your calories.  Then switch to baby spinach, which is full of B vitamins which also help lower the risk for certain cancers, with one tablespoon of Balsmic Vinaigrett to reap the most benefits for fewer calories and fat than other types of lettuce.

Regular potato chips contain a chemical that's been identified as a possible carcinogen.  Switch to baked potato chips for fewer calories and less fat per serving, even though they aren't a superfood.  Try bean chips, which have more calories than baked chips, and also contain a few grams of protein and fiber and will be more filling.  Eventually switch to kale chips, which contain fiber and vitamins A, C and K and calcium, which you can bake with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Store bought breakfast muffins are often made with white flour and an overload of sugar and amount to over 500 calories.  Switch to homemade wheat-germ and fruit muffins.  Wheat-germ is a good source of fiber and protein and you can control the sugar. 

Better than a muffin for breakfast, switch to two scrambled eggs and one package of plain instant oatmeal.  Eggs are a complete protein and eating them in the morning can kick-start your metabolism.  Eating healthy carbs can old off hunger until lunch.  Eventually switch to an omelet wrap using one egg and one egg white, veggies for low calorie fiber and one tablespoon of cheese on a whole wheat wrap.

Everyone wants to start a diet on a Monday after a weekend of eating out.  But plan to start a diet on a Saturday.  Mondays are chaotic and studies show that exerting self-control in one area can make it hard to sustain self-control in other areas.  Create a visual aid so you are constantly aware of your diet mindset.  Ask yourself each time before you eat something if this is beneficial to your diet.  I know I question myself when I grab something automatically and then ask myself am I hungry or just think I'm hungry, or do I really need this, will it help me with my run.  I try to keep my cupboards and refrigerator stocked with only healthy choices to eliminate temptations.

These are a few examples of baby steps to reform your eating habits.  Make simple changes gradually and your mind will eventually adjust to a better way to cut cravings, ditch deprivation and shift to a new way of eating that makes you look and feel fantastic.  Avoid the weight gain relapse by gradually depriving your body of the foods it has been accustomed to.  A new mindset by developing new eating habits.