In the midst of Week 8

Dr. Duly and Co

The information we received for this week focused on blood pressure and stress management. I have actually had to “pump up” my fluid intake because my blood pressure has been low.  I continue to purchase more organic fruit and veg, experimenting with new combinations. My family seems to really like the “broccoli slaw” – packed with antioxidants and I have started mixing in nuts, dried fruit and different types of beans into salads as well.

I have had my ups and downs in terms of stress management and continue to work on this goal. Besides practicing a few breathing & relaxation exercises each day, walking and meditating a few times, I have also experimented with some unconventional and unique stress-management strategies. For example, I discovered that for me, watching Tron Legacy is a terrific technique for relaxing and releasing stress! 😉 I highly recommend this movie, especially if you are often “plugged in” to the digital world and live/work in a fast-paced environment. If you start feeling overwhelmed by specific pressures or stressors – caught up in a “rat race” – just remember Kevin Flynn’s {Jeff Bridges} wise words that at times, “The only way to win is not to play!


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Creature of HABIT!

Well, here we are week #7!  Where has the time gone???

Last week was spring break…we didn’t have any grandiose plans, but it was definitely a challenge!

I was able to sleep in. Yeah!

However, when I wasn’t in my regular routine…I found my eating, sleeping, and exercising was totally off!  I caught up on home stuff, took kids to dentist, ortho, hair cuts,etc. and just tried to do everything that I can’t possibly catch up on during a regular work week. BUT I found myself being distracted with the extra time.

What??? Yes, it’s true!  I seriously thought that I was going to exercise more and try some new recipes, blah, blah….not a chance! Lesson learned!

Overall, I feel that my eating habits were ok…went out to eat several times and I did exercise… I have really thought about my new routines, my consistency and why routines/consistency are so crucial for me!  I am a creature of habit!!! Hmmmm…..

New running shoes – My kids and I did lace up our new running shoes and attempted running.  Unfortunately, my bad foot( foot surgery 2003) was not exactly cooperative. More stretches, better shoes,???  I will be looking into this matter.   Well, happy days!  Take care, Mary Beth 🙂

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April 2 – Week 7 has begun!

Each week it astounds me again – how fast these 12 weeks are flying by! When I woke up today and realized it was the start of Week 7, it just amazed me.

Reviewing the material for this week, I chose the Making Lasting Changes Goal. I am grateful for my current high LDL and low HDL Cholesterol numbers, and the dietary changes I – and we – are making here at home continue to focus on eliminating Trans Fats and more of the Saturated fats from our diet, and adding a variety of fruit and veggies. My goal for the week targets my thought processes. With so much flu and bugs going around this season coupled with other stressors – this goals reminds me that actively cultivating a positive outlook every single day is so important. {Even when you’re hoarse, congested and feel like an ax is trying to split your head! ;-0 ~~~ 😉 } In fact, I came across some really interesting info the other day written by Shawn Achor.

“Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves. Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance. For one, most people believe that success precedes happiness. ‘Once I get a promotion, I’ll be happy,’ they think. Or, ‘Once I hit my sales target, I’ll feel great.’ But because success is a moving target—as soon as you hit your target, you raise it again—the happiness that results from success is fleeting.

In fact, it works the other way around: People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. I call this the ‘happiness advantage’—every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive. I’ve observed this effect in my role as a researcher and lecturer in 48 countries on the connection between employee happiness and success. And I’m not alone: In a meta-analysis of 225 academic studies, researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener found strong evidence of directional causality between life satisfaction and successful business outcomes.

Another common misconception is that our genetics, our environment, or a combination of the two determines how happy we are. To be sure, both factors have an impact. But one’s general sense of well-being is surprisingly malleable. The habits you cultivate, the way you interact with coworkers, how you think about stress—all these can be managed to increase your happiness and your chances of success” (Achor, Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb 2012). Here is the link to excerpts online.

I wish everyone many upbeat and inspiring moments this week!


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Week 5 Already?!

Yes I agree, it is hard to believe it is Week 5 already. I am still waiting to regain a bit more of my UMPF – which I referred to last week. In the meantime another member of my family is sick . . . .

I found this inspirational video this morning addressing stress — a key topic when it comes to heart health. Click here and take a look if you have a spare minute or two. 😉

The good news this week for me is that I continue to experiment, adding new fruit and veggies to our diet. I continue to coach myself and others repeating at meals and snack times: “let’s make good choices here to LIVE LONGER!” My family loves the fruit smoothies I make and they have also enjoyed the different soups I recently concocted. They insisted we bake green cookies last Sat — we used whole wheat flour and substituted a healthy fat for the butter plus reduced the sugar. They taste great – and are much more nutritious.

I have been thinking about one article I read in the Chicago Tribune in February entitled, “Start small to build habits that stick.” Starting small is not always so glamorous – it can even seem tedious at times when one does not see big results immediately. However, it served as a reminder to me — to keep plugging away. Ellen Warren, the author, recommends: “Sometimes the idea of 30 minutes a day of exercise is so daunting to people. Break it up. There’s evidence if you do three 10-minute stints it’s just as good” (Chicago Tribune, 2-12-2012, Section 6, p. 24).

With that I will sign off and venture out into this sunny day for 10 minutes!

Nina {9′ ah}

Dr. Duly and Co


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Week 6

Once again it is hard for me to believe that Week 6 is here and flying by. I made it a family outing this week to go to the grocery story together to pick out tasty “healthy choices.” Okay, {I have to confess}, somehow a bag of chips – which my husband adamantly pointed out were the healthiest chips! – did appear in our cart as we were nearing check-out. Otherwise, we have a healthy-food buzz in the house: everyone is talking more about eating well and including at least one if not more veg and/or fruit in every meal. I continue to work on my goal of moving more – and this week it was emphasized that women should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. I am perfecting my “house walk” – up and down stairs and all around each day, and when the weather is nice, I slip on those walking shoes.

As we were shopping for healthy foods and I was looking for an assortment of organic ingredients to try out, I had a flashback from my childhood – experimenting with a recipe for super-duper healthy granola that often felt like a boulder in my stomach for the rest of the day. (I once baked cookies that received the constant comment – “oh, those REALLY look healthy.” {In other words – thanks but no thanks.} I realized that for me, it is really important to find and cook healthy foods that both taste and “feel” great.

I can’t help quoting Julia Child even though I rarely taste steak: “The only time to eat diet food is when you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” 😉

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