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Midlife Health – Sweep out the Extra Calories

One Easy Way to Get Rid of Extra Calories

Fiber is one of the best things you can eat if you are watching your weight. It acts like a broom in your digestive tract sweeping out sugars and carbs together with their calories.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber expands as it combines with fluids and makes you feel full.  It slows digestion and the absorption of simple carbohydrates (like sugar), to prevent blood sugar spikes. Good sources: Beans, apples, psyllium husks, flax seeds and oats.

Insoluble fiber provides food for the colon’s good bacteria and helps to keep bowel movements regular. Good sources – Brown rice, nuts, seeds, celery, most fruits and vegetables

The recommended amount  is about 25-30 grams of fiber a day, which is more than double what the average American gets.

A study conducted by David J. Baer of the US Dept. of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center found that women who doubled their fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams a day, cut their daily calorie absorption by 90 calories. That’s a 9.4lb weight loss in a year. Add in exercise and watch the pounds drop off.

Tip: Because fiber binds to water, you will need to increase your water intake if you increase your daily fiber. Be aware of not increasing your intake too rapidly as gas or diarrhea may result.

Here’s my favorite high-fiber recipe.  It’s quick, easy and great for breakfast-on-the-go!

Orange Bran Flax Muffins


11/2 c oat bran

1 c all-purpose flour

1 c flaxseed, ground

1 c wheat bran

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 oranges, quartered and seeded

1 c brown sugar

1 c buttermilk

1/2 c canola oil (or butter)

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

11/2 c golden raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners or coat the pans with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine the oat bran, flour, flaxseed, bran, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine the oranges, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and baking soda. Blend well.

3. Pour the orange mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended. Stir in the raisins.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Makes 24

Per muffin: 186 cal, 4 g pro, 30 g carb, 8 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 18 mg chol, 3 g fiber, 140 mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of Flax Council of Canada and Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission

Flax Facts: Use ground flaxseed; it provides far more nutritional benefits than does the whole seed.

What Stands Between You and What You Want?

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible. — Richard M. DeVos

This particular comment spoke to me because of something that happened recently.

My husband and I attended an evening at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC. Not only was the focus of the evening on the particular part of the country that is my birthplace but it also featured an art exhibit. At one point in the evening raffle tickets were being sold. I don’t often participate in raffles but this one was special.

The raffle was for a work of art by an artist who had been educated at the same art school in Austria that my mother attended back in the early 1940s. Not only that, but she knew the same professor. Something about the connection “spoke to me” so we bought six tickets. I just knew the painting was meant for me!

If you guessed that they called my number, you are correct. That unlikely connection made me want to try and I believed it was possible. Some people may call it coincidence. I choose to call it The Law of Attraction at work. If you have the vision, are totally committed and take action, anything is possible!

What do you want in life?

Do you have the will to try and get it?

Do you truly believe it’s possible?

Modify Dreams or Magnify Skills

” You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.” — Jim Rohn, author and speakerWhat's Your Dream?

When I was in my early twenties in Australia my dream was to travel the world and visit exotic places. Not just for a few days but on an ongoing basis. My dream was to become a flight attendant.

Fortunately for me the now “extinct” airline, Pan Am, was interviewing to fill a small number of open slots. Along with a few hundred applicants, I interviewed for one of 20 positions. I was crushed when I didn’t make the cut. Then I was angry. Then upset. Then more determined than ever to make it happen. So did I modify the dream or magnify my skills?

I knew I had to magnify my interviewing skills if I wanted another shot. So I began visualizing what it would feel like to be living my dream, so that at the next interview I could do a better job of “being” the image I thought the recruiters were looking for.

Did I succeed? You bet, although not quite on as grand a scale as I had wanted. I took to the skies with a domestic airline rather than an international one. So I guess you could say that I magnified my skills and slightly modified my dreams.

If you are faced with a similar dreams/skills issue, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:

  1. Are the visions I have of my dreams complete, realistic and motivating? Do I need to reevaluate what’s truly important?
  2. What skills do I need to expand to achieve my dreams and goals? What is my plan for doing so?
  3. Will I do whatever it takes to fulfill my dreams?
  4. What next step can I take immediately?

So make sure you have a brilliantly clear vision of your dream and that you have the skills to make it happen. Then let go of expectations as to how it’s “supposed to” unfold and enjoy the journey!

If you need a facilitator to help you create your own Personal Strategic Life Plan, contact me at evelin(at)

Loss of a Loved One

With Veteran’s Day just behind us, the killings at Ft. Hood and in Orlando plus the scores of others who have lost their lives recently, I thought I would share a poem my husband wrote some years ago when a close friend of his committed suicide. 


If you have lost someone close to you, may these words remind you of the gifts that person shared with you and the world.



We Miss Him


Our Lives are puzzles that constantly grow

          Each piece a person –

each person we know.

And when one falls out we wonder how

          The place will be filled –

that is empty now.



There is pain in the place where he used to be

          We’re left in this world –

his soul is now free.

We know the ache will in time go away

          If only we can bear it –

through the rest of this day.



We’ll not forget his style and his grace.

We’ll remember well –

                                                his manner, his face,

We’ll recall him always in our list of those

          Who touch our lives –

                                                our hearts, our souls.



We leave this world as God has arranged

          He that has passed before –

                                                leaves the rest of us changed.

Better for knowing God’s unique expression

          That through this person –

                                                God left His impression.


William J. Guinan



Here’s a moving Veteran’s Day video – A Pittance of Time

Blueprint for Change: To Grow or Not to Grow!

Optimal growth increases the development of self, while lack of growth produces a sense of worthlessness accompanied by strong feelings of self-blame.

Doubt is a killer. It serves no purpose.  It will not help you in moving forward but rather keep you stuck or moving backwards. More often than not you will become the victim of paralysis – frozen in the “checkmate” position.

In order to achieve the success you want in life, you must say “no” when doubt rears its head.  Believe in the words “I can” and you will find yourself moving forward once again.

If you’re not sure whether or not you are growing, ask yourself how often the following “non-growth” thoughts come to your mind:

I feel a sense of worthlessness
I can’t keep up with change
I am a failure
I lack confidence
I am a marginal performer
I can’t forgive myself
I’m afraid to try new things
I do little to correct my faults
I have mistakes to make up for
I avoid new situations
I have a defeatist attitude towards most situations
I don’t take responsibility for my own life
I have a pessimistic view of the future
I have difficulty setting future goals
I blame myself all the time
I am disgusted when I look in the mirror
I associate with people into self-blame
Everyone else can do a better job than I can

Individual growth depends on a belief in progress.  If you believe you can improve yourself, believe you have the potential to learn and believe you can overcome your faults, you allow great growth and self-development to occur.

Midlife Health: Manage your Stress by Becoming a Child

With all the stresses and busy-ness of today’s life, take some time to remember how “simple” things were when you were a child.  How much fun it was just to skim a rock across a still lake, wander through the woods with your dog, skip rope with friends in the park, feed seagulls on the beach!  No responsibilities, no worries, nothing to do except have fun.  Consider becoming a child again, at least for a short period of time.  Your responsibilities will still be there when you return but they will seem less burdensome after your break.



I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old again.

I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four-star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a pavement with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to lie under a big oak tree and play doctors and nurses with my friends on a hot summer’s day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple; when all I knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, and it didn’t bother me, because I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I didn’t care.

All I knew was to be happy because I was blissfully unaware of all the things that should make me worry or upset.

I want to think the world is fair … that everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

So . . . here’s my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my mobile phone. I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cause…
……”Tag! You’re it.”

— Author Unknown

Midlife: Walking the Talk

Today I’d like to share a guest post with you …

Walking the Talk

Walking the Talk

Most conversations seem to be carried on while people aren’t moving.  Instead, they are seated around a table, in a restaurant booth, on a park bench, at an office desk.  Does their being sedentary affect the quality of communication?

Probably, yes.  For example, persons seated across from one another may be more confrontational.  As well, people seated may be more “fixed” in their viewpoints, just as they are fixed in their seats.  Furthermore, where you sit often signals who has more power.  The one at the head of the table tends to be the chairperson or the boss.  Spacing and seating like this are concerns of the science of proxemics devised by anthropologist Edward T. Hall and explained in his classic book, The Hidden Dimension.

What, if any, might be the advantages of talking while walking?

1.  When persons walk together, side by side, they almost always walk in rhythm, almost like a dance.  When “in sync,” we humans feel more similar and collaborative and thus more prone to common understanding and agreement.  That’s a plus.

2.  Talking while walking side-by-side has the effect of diffusing intensity because we’re not looking directly at each other.  Because we must look where we’re stepping, our full attention can’t be on the other person.  This lessened attention can also be positive, at least in certain situations.

3.  When we are walking, we are not only getting some exercise, but also our bodies are releasing “good chemicals” – the endorphins that lift our mood.  (Physicians typically prescribe “take a walk in the park” for patients who suffer from depression.) As well, even gentle exercise like walking can have the effect of raising the serotonin level in one’s system, the result being an enhancement of mood and reduction of anger and aggression.  Certainly, talking is more congenial when we’re in a good mood.

4.  Walking in nature can be especially powerful in stimulating good feelings.  Strolling through a rose garden, down a lushly tree-lined path, or in a redwood forest gives us awesome beauty and may induce a broader perspective on differences we may have with others. 

5.  For those who might think that to talk about serious topics we must be seated, as at a conference table or in a classroom, I’ll remind you of Jesus and Buddha, teaching their disciples while walking.  And of the “peripatetic school” of Aristotle and his own teacher, Plato, known for discussing big ideas while walking around.  In modern times, history describes significant diplomatic negotiations that took place during “a walk in the woods.”

6.  Finally, I have often observed “mall walking” by small groups of friends.  (Here in Las Vegas, far too hot for walking outside in the summertime, shopping malls allow these groups to walk for exercise before stores open.)  These groups are not only exercising, but they’re creating lively social events.  Everyone’s walking, and most walkers are talking.  And the socializing seems to be more fun than if they were sedentary in a coffee shop.

I hope this short article has given you some good reasons for “walking your talk.”  Doing so has some advantages.

(Dr. Loren Ekroth, a national expert on conversation, publishes a complimentary newsletter each week.  Subscribe at

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