Tips for Successful Grandparenting

#. Boundaries are necessary for control and safety.

All children need and must learn to respect boundaries. Being clear about expectations before an activity begins frees you and the child to enjoy the event and ensures the safety of everyone involved. If you observe the boundaries are being violated, don’t be afraid to remind your grandchildren again. Restate the rules as many times as necessary. Writing the rules and posting them or bringing them along is a good idea. If a rule is violated during the activity, ask the child to repeat or read the rules again.

#. Gift giving is not a requirement of grandparenting.

Establish a practice with your first grandchild and stick with it; what you do for one doesn’t necessarily have to be done for all. Financial and family situations change as our children grow. If a family experiences loss of a job or divorce, don’t be afraid to make temporary changes. Gifts are gifts especially when they are unexpected. Surprise gifts are the best. Gifts don’t have to cost a lot. Research supports the fact that “time together” is the best gift we can give. Travel provides time for the grandparent and grandchildren to discover and appreciate each other’s gifts.

#. All rules must be consistent with parents’ wishes.

Anything you do with and for your grandchild needs to be discussed first with the parents. After all, parents make the rules and effective grandparents support them.

Don’t keep secrets from the parents and don’t ask the grandchildren to keep secrets from their parents. Many grandparents believe that some information should not be shared with the parents, but this only undermines the relationships.

#. There is no substitute for planning.

Proper planning ensures that the activity will be discussed with the parents. No matter what the age or sex of your grandchild, planning makes any activity more successful. This is not to say you can’t be spontaneous, but it’s often better and safer to have a plan.

Discuss with the child what he or she would like to do. Give careful thought to the age appropriateness of the activities before you begin. Giving children choices increases their self-confidence and is great training for the future.

#. Grandchildren and grandparents want to have fun!

There is no substitute for good old-fashioned belly laughs. It’s good for you, your grandchild and your relationship. During the activity itself, share with your grandchildren how excited you are about being with them.

Children enjoy getting away from their parents for short periods of time and grandparents enjoy being part of a very important relationship. Parents enjoy their break too.

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Breathing For A Thinner Waist

The exercise is the backbone of abdominal training. It develops the muscles of the abs to help you build that much-desired six-pack. But did you know that there is a way to do crunches that can actually decrease the size of your waist?

The key to this technique is the top position of the crunch where your abdominal are contracted as hard as they are able to.

When you’re in this top position, I want you to breathe in and out slowly a few times. Try to relax every other muscle except the abs. This breathing in and out will intensify the contraction (as you will find out very rapidly).

Here’s how it works:

The muscles of the abdomen are arranged in layers around your midsection, similar in concept to the rings in a tree. While you are contracting the rectos abdomens (the top-most front layer of your abs, also known as your six-pack) continuously, the deeper abdominal muscle fibers are relaxing and contracting each time you breathe.

Each time the deep fibers relax, your rectos abdomens (because it is contracting so hard) will squeeze them in a little more, making your waist-area a little smaller and tighter.

The reason this works to decrease the size of your waist is simple. Usually, most people’s abdominal muscles just kind of sit there. They don’t stay tight, therefore your midsection tends to slouch forward and outward.

This technique teaches your abdominal to maintain a degree of tightness and tone in them even when you are relaxed. This keeps your abs in, leading to a visually smaller waist.

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How Do You Treat Others?

When others are angry with you, loving to you, critical of you, and so on, do you treat them the same? We tend to treat others, except those in a position of authority or power over us, the same way they treat us.

Let’s say you enter a restaurant expecting great service and a tasty meal. The waiter or waitress is snarly and literally throws the food on the table. You ask for a glass of water to go with the meal and they act as though you had asked for something impossible.

Our first reaction is to be unkind in return and also decide that they will not receive a tip. Is this the right reaction in this or in any situation?

Perhaps they have just been informed a loved one is seriously ill and in a hospital, or they haven’t the money to pay their rent and are facing eviction from their home, or they have a severe headache. This list could go on endlessly.

The problem we face is that we have no way of knowing what the other person is going through at that point in their life. Even the finest people are sometimes so overwhelmed by circumstances they act rashly. And who is to say we wouldn’t act the same way in similar circumstances?

The next time you begin to treat another as badly as they have treated you, try to put yourself into their circumstances. We can never put ourselves into the exact position of another, but it will help us to be more understanding.

By always doing our best to treat others as we would wish to be treated, we make things better for ourselves and others with whom we come in contact.

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Why Protein is Crucial For Fat Loss

The Best Protein Powder and How To Get It Dirt Cheap!

Without a doubt, whey protein is king when it comes to protein quality and digestibility. Ironically, whey used to be considered a useless by-product of cheese making and was just dumped into ponds as waste!

There are two main classifications of whey protein, which are essentially based on how processed the whey is. The two forms are whey isolate and concentrate. The major difference between the two is that whey isolate is more processed and is thus a purer source of whey. Whey concentrate is still a very high quality protein however.

If you have the money to spend, whey isolate is the higher quality protein. If you’re looking to get the most protein bang for your buck, I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

Whey concentrate is very nearly as good as isolate and is a whole lot cheaper!

I would compare it to driving a sports car. Imagine whey protein as the Ferrari of protein. It is a top-quality protein and a top-quality car. If you put a manual transmission into that Ferrari, you are going to get more performance out of it. This is what happens with whey isolate as compared to whey concentrate. Whey concentrate is your basic Ferrari, while whey isolate is your souped-up Ferrari.

My favorite protein supplement, which I always recommend to clients and friends, is the brand whey concentrate protein powder called “Simply Protein.”

It is a very high-quality, well-known brand name and is a pioneer in scientific supplement development. They know their stuff!

But here’s the best part…

I know an online store where you can get this protein powder at a fraction of the price you would pay at a regular retail store. Let me throw some numbers at you.

I’ve been using and researching protein supplements for the past 12 years and I have yet to find a better deal on this high a quality of protein.

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Successful Affiliate Program

Two Christmases ago I tugged on one of those paper crackers and after a small bang, out popped a piece of yellow paper the size of a credit card.

On one side was a riddle that didn’t make much sense, but on the other side was an ‘Inspirational Quote’ that made a lot of sense.

So much so, that I still have it in my wallet.

This is what it said: “The shortest and best way to make your fortune is to let people see clearly that it is in their interests to promote yours”.

I’m constantly amazed to see affiliate programs that offer 20%, or even as little as 15%, to their affiliates.

It is generally accepted that the production of any information product is only 10 percent of the whole process.

What’s the other 90 per cent? Marketing!

My own affiliate program gives 50% commissions, and I wouldn’t dream of offering less. After all, who makes the sale – me or the affiliate?

It may be disappointing to see 50% of your sale price going to your affiliates. But it’s worth remembering this: without your affiliate, that sale simply wouldn’t have occurred.

Of course, there are many other factors involved in building a successful affiliate program, but this is the first and most important: make your affiliates your equal partners, because they’ll be doing 90% of the work.

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Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Blackmail

Family decision-making is an intriguing phenomenon. Many factors become part of the decision-making process. Emotions play an important part in this activity.

Parents and children each use emotions to steer decisions favorable way to themselves. Using emotions to influence decisions develops naturally.

The use of emotions becomes harmful when they are used as threats to control or intimidate others. Emotionally charged threats and intimidation leaves their victims feeling helpless. Victims of emotional blackmail often give in, believing they have no other options.

Emotional blackmail occurs across ages. Parents use it on children, children use it on parents and even grandparents often enter the picture with their opinions. One parent may even use it on the other parent.

Threats often show up as emotion or behavior-based. Emotional threats are those where the blackmailer uses an emotional state to control the victim. This commonly occurs through rage, screaming, crying, whining or complaining.

Through making the situation uncomfortable enough, they force the victim to do something. When this occurs in public places, embarrassment adds pressure to yield. After several episodes of emotional threats, the victim often gives in to avoid the very possibility of another scene. The very threat of emotional discomfort or blackmail creates pressure to give in.

Behavioral blackmail is where potential actions are used to intimidate. These include threats of violence, suicide, running away, disowning and even calling Child’s Protective Services. The perpetrators may intensify the threats if the victim ‘tells anyone’ about the initial threat. Blackmailers may also threaten to go public with dirty laundry to force the victims into obedience.

By using such threats, the blackmailer gets their way. Rarely does the blackmailer consider the effects the threats have on other members of the family. The effect of repeated threats creates a hostage situation within the home.

Threats also occur in the form of withholding. The blackmailer threatens to withhold love, attention, money or dignity. These things are held out like a carrot to entice the family to do things their way. The phrase “it’s my way or the highway” is a common expression of this behavior.

In healthy families, decisions are made through negotiation, clearly defined rules and a just authority structure. Although pleasing every member of the family in the decision-making process rarely occurs, parents can listen to each person’s input before making the final decision. Discussion allows issues to be “out in the open” rather than someone’s will imposed on the family. Such discussion also reduces the feeling of being a hostage.

Displeasure can be expressed in ways without using emotional blackmail. When rules and expectations are clear, the need for manipulation is lessened. When the authority structure is clear and just, family members develop trust in the decisions that are made.

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Tips For The Adventure Traveler

  1. Embrace the place. Be sure to explore around the corners, go into the one of kind shops and meet the locals. Find out where the towns folk go for coffee and the newspaper in the morning and join them. DON’T have breakfast at the hotel.

  2. Plan a trip with a theme and find an expert in that field to give you advise. For example an archeology trip, a wildlife safari, or a trip to discover local pottery and fabrics.

  3. Read books written by authors from your destination. Go to a lecture on the country

  4. Learn some language. Just knowing a greeting or two will endear you to the hearts of the people.

  5. Pack lightly. Too much luggage will make or break your trip’ and your back. Remember when you could get everything in a backpack? Pack things that don’t need ironing and can be hand washed.

  6. Take a small digital camera. It’s worth the investment. No film to buy or worry about and when you get home you can sort it all out on computer and make a great presentation for family and friends. Adobe and Fuji can help you get started.

  7. Some fun ideas for the traveler who always wanders away from the tour group

  8. Before you go, find a group or club with a similar dream’ and get some like-minded travelers to go with you. How about a group of white-water rafters who have always wanted to raft the Nile? A shared experience multiplies the joy.

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Eat More Leafy Greens

Eating foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats, along with too much caffeine and alcohol can trigger premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in many women. PMS is controlled by the hormone estrogen – too much or too little causes moods to fluctuate, depression, anxiety, food cravings and bloating about a week before a period begins.

To help keep estrogen levels balanced, avoid cravings for sweet and salty foods since they will magnify PMS symptoms, notes Sam Graci, nutritional researcher and author of the new book – The Food Connection: The Right Food at the Right Time. Stay away from dairy products and meats that are high in saturated fats, as well as caffeinated beverages, which raise the blood levels of estrogen and cause headaches, irritability and anxiety.

To help reduce symptoms of PMS and balance estrogen levels, eat at least two to three servings of colorful fruit and a large leafy green salad, along with whole grains such as oatmeal or seven-grain cereal. These foods are high in fiber, which helps keep estrogen levels balanced. In addition, start each day with a nutritional supplement such as greens+™, a balanced formula of 23 vitamins, minerals, organic and nutrient-rich foods. One serving of greens+ is the equivalent of six organic salads. The nutritional supplement also packs plenty of natural soy ingredients, which contain phytoestrogens to keep estrogen levels balanced.

In addition to fiber and soy, eat plenty of “good” fats – Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). Fish such as salmon or tuna are the best source of these EFAs, which are said to help reduce headaches, irritability and anxiety.

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To Avoid Gaining Weight

This holiday season don’t be trendy avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average weight most Americans gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s). That’s one trend you don’t want to participate in!

I know what you are thinking the holidays are a time for fun and indulgence. You don’t want to think about fitness during that time. You want to enjoy yourself. Okay, before you accuse me of being the Grinch, you should know that I completely agree. The festivities don’t have to be eliminated or avoided, because you can have a fabulous time while also maintaining your weight and your fitness regimen.

The secret to achieving a holiday season that is both full of fun and also includes fitness is found in moderation. There are two typical approaches to the seasonal festivities: 1) throw all healthy habits out the window and indulge in every guilty pleasure 2) starve and binge approach (for example, you eat nothing all day long to allow yourself to overindulge in party food). Of course, neither approach is successful at maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle throughout the holiday season.

As I mentioned above, the key is found in moderation. With a moderate approach both to what you eat (or don’t eat) and how much exercise you do (or don’t do), you can avoid packing on extra weight AND also partake in all the fun of the season. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose.

Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Create a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out and/or eating healthy meals.

  2. Don’t put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year. If you can’t exercise as often during this time period as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Don’t use the excuse that since you don’t have time for your full workout you just won’t workout at all. Instead accept your limited availability and simply reduce # the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. It’s much better to cut your fitness time in half than to completely eliminate it.

  3. On the day of a party, be sure to eat regularly all day long. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before hand (just as you would on any other day). Once you are at the party, go ahead and indulge in some of the fun, delicious foods. Since you have eaten meals earlier in the day, you probably will find that you aren’t tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. However, if you starve all day long attempting to save up all your calories for the party, you will be so famished by the time it begins that it will be difficult not to overeat.

  4. Schedule your workouts. Mark them on the calendar and set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment or event # you have marked on your calendar.

  5. When at a party, start by eating some of the healthy offerings. For example, vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.

  6. On days that you really lack motivation or simply do not have time for your complete exercise routine, commit to do just 10 minutes of exercise. You’ll probably end up doing more than that once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero minutes.

  7. When presented with a large variety of food options, it’s tempting to want to eat everything. Rather than eating one large slice of chocolate cake or a huge plate of meatballs, select a sampling of bite size pieces of several of the desert or appetizer offerings. This way you get the enjoyment of trying many different foods without overeating. Exercise at home. You’ll be more inclined to follow-through on your exercise commitment if you don

  8. It have to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you won’t waste any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to use equipment. Working out at home requires very little equipment (even can be equipment-free) and is quite inexpensive.

  9. Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages. The average alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and you’ve drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling water or with a diet cola. This will help cut your calories in half.

  10. When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.

I hope these tips will help you find a balance between staying fit and also enjoying the fun of the season.

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Balance Your Moods With Food

Here are some helpful hints on the nutrients you need to stay “emotionally fit” and help prevent mood-swings. These foods help keep you “hormonally” healthy – see Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating to ensure that you get all of the nutrients needed to maintain a well-balanced diet for optimal overall health.

Before breakfast:

Start your day with greens+™, a balanced formula of 23 herbs, vitamins, minerals, organic and nutrient-rich foods to help boost motivation and energy levels.

Breakfast:

This should include about one-third of foods that are high in lean protein such as eggs, grains or low-fat yogurt and two-thirds of low-density complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Mid-morning snack:

Reach for some raw, very low-density complex carbo-hydrates such as carrots, celery or zucchini.

Lunch:

Eat a balanced lunch including lean protein such as chicken or fish with complex carbo-hydrates from veggies and leafy greens.

Mid-afternoon snack:

Choose fresh fruit as a low-density complex carbohydrate snack to increase the level of serotonin in the body and help curb that 3 o’clock sugar craving.

Dinner:

This should be high in complex carbohydrates and low in protein to provide enough serotonin to help calm hormones during the evening for a good night’s sleep.

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