Monday, May 28, 2007

A Fresh Start


Wow, it's been a long time.

I have been re-invigorated and look forward to returning to regular blogging here at Thriveworks.

Finding a way to help folks to better health and safer homes is immensely satisfying, but finding those of like mind isn't always easy.

Because of this, Thriveworks will soon be audio blogging, a fun way for you to get to know us better, and be a part of our community.

Here's to a bright future!


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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Home Stretch


One (of many) motivation for changing my eating and exercise habits is energy conservation. I'm really sick of spending the day up and down, up and down and then crashing in a heap on the couch at 5pm. When I eat sugary snacks all day at work, all I want to do is lounge around and watch TV when I get home. I have no energy to walk my dog, rollerblade, run, mountain bike or do any of the other activities I enjoy.

I felt pretty good yesterday. I didn't eat any sweets at all. I exercised when I got home, then power-walked up a big hill, walked my dog and then tidied up the house. I went to bed at 9:30, read for a half hour and turned the light off at 10pm. I slept better than I have in a long time. Last night for dinner, I had broccoli with olive oil - that was it! No dessert, no "second" dinner - nothing. And you know what? I survived!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Starting Line


Last night found me lying in bed, unable to sleep. I was over-full from the massive, loaded garden burger, mozzarella sticks, French fries and two cocktails I'd had a 4 o'clock. I was, as is frequently the case, disgusted with myself for yet another day of bad food choices and no exercise.

I did a value exercise a few years ago, one which forces you to whittle down and prioritize your values. Although it wasn't in my top four at the time (to learn, be aware, have adventure and one other that I can't recall (!)), I know for sure that at this point in my life, one of the things I most value is good health. I want, and think about every day, to honor my body with peace, good food, healthy exercise - such as power walking and yoga - mediation, quality sleep and positive energy. I want and value these things, and yet do nothing to foster them. I routinely start my day with good intentions and then fall into unconscious mode: eating too much sugar, talking myself out of working out, not making time to mediate or do yoga, staying up too late reading magazines or watching TV.

There are thousand of “self help” books published, each promising better bodies, relationships and lives with the turn of a page. I’ve heard it said, however, and am more inclined to believe, that true change is very rare and hard won. I think it can happen, but it requires “staying awake” in every moment of our lives, continual focus and refocus, and most important, a real desire to be different.

I have that desire. My hope is this blog will help me “stay awake”. I plan to write a post each morning to reaffirm my commitment to change and to stay accountable to my intention to live simply, cleanly and happily through healthy habits and decision-making.

Thanks for reading! I hope my journey inspires you to live your life according to your values and your dreams for yourself.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Brushing up


Many of the day-to-day routines we have go unexamined for years. Until I started thinking about better ways to maintain my body, my house and my life, I sleep-walked through some parts of life. Now I spend time looking at simple ways to help me live well.

Cleaning teeth isn't the sexiest of subjects. Frankly I had always made the assumption that my daily routine was good enough. I don't eat sugary candy, nor drink sweetened sodas. And yet there is evidence now that prevention of gum disease might well contribute to keeping your blood vessels and heart healthy. Makes brushing and flossing seem more important suddenly doesn't it?

The American Heart Association recommends that to prevent bacteria migrating from the mouth to the circulatory system, brushing and flossing is essential. Critical to preventing chronic gum disease is using a toothpaste that contains ingredients with antimicrobial properties. Sadly, most popular brands emphazise their enamel whitening ability.

Fortunately better products exist, containing natural bacteria killers. Now I think of brushing and flossing as whole-body maintenance too.

A little while after posting, I saw this article referring to this topic.


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Copyright © 2005 Thriveworks– All rights reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2005



I sometimes eat when upset or angry, in a behavior called Emotional Eating. If I'm stressed because of work or a relationship problem, eating seems to make me feel better.

Confronting bad habits like this, I look for ways to avoid the "put something in my mouth" response to everyday difficulties. Here are some ways to help remove the temptation:
  • remove trigger foods from the house
  • go for a walk, a jog, or jump on the treadmill
  • keep a goal reminder handy, perhaps on the door of the fridge
  • talk to, or call a friend or mentor
  • write in a journal
  • sourround yourself with positive re-enforcers, such as pictures and people
These ideas are from this website, which is a terrific reference for folks looking to modify their eating and exercise habits.

Habits reward us in some way, so rather than eliminating them, try switching your response to something that is positive. Whenever I feel like one of those delicious high-fat muffins at Starbucks, I walk for an hour. It's amazing how quickly the craving disappears.

Give yourself forty days and look back at your progress.

Copyright © 2005 Thriveworks– All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Retirement planning


I like working, thereforeI have no plans to retire. That idea might change in the years to come, so I'm planning right now so that I can retire from day-to-day work as soon as I feel I want to. Options give us power.

There are many confusing ideas surrounding the business of retirement savings. Like everything in my life, I try to simplify. My research has led me to define one Power Goal in this area, and it comes from Ben Stein. Ben has written excellent books and articles about personal finance, and I have taken this rule of thumb as my own:

"You should accumulate an amount equal to roughly fifteen to twenty times what you need anually what you need to live on." That amount is represented by cash and investments over and above the value of your house, your car and any pensions or social security to which you might be entitled.

If you need $50,000 per year to live when you retire, at say age 65, you will need between $750,000 and $1,000,000 worth of investable money to lead a fun retirement.

How is your planning going?

There is another alternative, called residual income. Residual income is money that accrues to me, no matter whether I work or not. Either way, we all need to think seriously, plan, and take charge of our needs for the later years.

Copyright © 2005 Thriveworks– All rights reserved.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Fish, fowl or nuts?


Like so much information about nutrition, there is lots of jargon. Much of it is intimidating to a layman like me. Omega-3 Fatty Acids is one such term. Here's what Wikipedia says about them. It's quite complex, but the important part is that:

They are essential in the human diet since they cannot be synthesized by the body; and

The essential fatty acids are very important for our immune system and to help us regulate our blood pressure, since they are used to make compounds such as prostaglandins.

Modern diets are high in one type of fatty acid - Omega-6 - and low in Omega-3s. This imbalance has potential consequences, for both cardiovascular health, and mental health. New research shows in increased risk of depression with such an imbalance. Omega-6s are found in abundance in red meat, poultry, refined grains, and certain fats such as corn oil and margarine. Balance your intake of these foods with your intake of Omega-3s found in fatty fish, canola oil, flaxseeds, soybeans, and nuts.

Remember: the body cannot produce these critical substances; we must obtain them from food, or supplements, and try to keep them in balance.

Copyright © 2005 Thriveworks– All rights reserved.