“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” – Maya Angelou

McDonald’s Trivia: Things You Didn’t Know About the Fast Food Giant (Infographic)

Figures, Facts, and Controversies

I thought the infographic below was pretty interesting -hopefully you’ll think so, too. I have to admit, since I had to start eating gluten free, I never go to McDonald’s anymore. Since Wendy’s has chili and baked potatoes, it’s now my “personal fast food giant!”

Created by: comparecamp Author: Robin Renford See our: Tumblr

Learning from Our Mistakes: Turning a Very Old Adage on its Very Old Head

With a Great Quote from Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale Quote About Learning from Mistakes
 

My name is Joi (“Joy”) and I have a confession to make.  I’m a baseball addict.  There’s nothing about the game I don’t love. The sights, the sounds, the everything. Between the months of April and October, it’s on the tip of my mind and tongue 24/7.

The other 5 long months? Withdrawal.

Love. The.Game. But, I have to confess, I’m not too fond of losing. When my team (the St. Louis Cardinals) loses, I feel it right into the next day.  If it’s the post season, I might even feel it for weeks.

But, even then… it’s still baseball!

Our young  manager has made a few “head scratching” mistakes this season. And last season, but who’s counting?

He’s a first-class, first-rate, top-0f-the-shelf type of human being.  The players love him, everyone in the organization loves him, opposing coaches love him… heck, I suspect even the umps love him.

Great guy. Doesn’t even cuss. But, that’s a misleading stat, given the fact that he has made some bullpen decisions that make everyone else cuss enough for him AND them. So, in a roundabout way…. he turns the air blue, just not with his own mouth.

Anyway, the good man made a bad decision in last night’s game. Well,actually about 7, but – again – who’s counting?  After head-scratcher #4, I thought, “This guy doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes.. instead he seems to take some sort of comfort in them.”

No doubt that’s pushing it – I’m not terribly reasonable when I’m in the midst of a baseball game frenzy.

It made me think about an old adage, “We learn from our mistakes.”

I’m just not so sure that old adage holds a lot of water. Could it be that it’s just a comforting thought that tends to take the sting out of mistakes?

Ironically, when I came to Self Help Daily to add a quote to the page of Norman Vincent Peale quotes, one of the quotes jumped out at me. I loved it so much I actually turned it into the graphic you see at the top. “We’ve all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it’s more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors.”

Sort of calls the old adage out on the floor and asks it, “What have you got to say to that?!”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m reasonable enough to know that we CAN learn from mistakes.  However, I’m also reasonable enough to know that…

  1. That’s not always the case.
  2. It’s better to slow down, think things out, and not make mistakes in the first place.

That second one brings me right back to the ballgame. If – prior to the mistake (pick one), our manager had simply slowed his world down for a minute and thought things through – I would be a much happier gal today.

Sometimes that’s all any of us have to do. Take a deep breathe. Gather our thoughts around and take a good, close look at them. Remove emotions from the equation and go with what we know is the decision that carries with it the largest probability of a successful outcome.

The alternative is go just go with a particular knee-jerk reaction because….

  • … it’s what I’ve always done.
  • … thinking kind of hurts.
  • …. my heart’s telling me to.

Here’s a fact that’ll never NOT be a fact – our brain is located in our head, not our heart.

If I’m sounding preach-y, I don’t mean to. If I sound like someone who always centers her thoughts and never lets her heart have a vote…. hahaha, sorry, I couldn’t get through that one without laughing. I am THE WORST at thinking things through and THE BEST at jerking reactions out of my knees based upon my heart’s word.

Preachy? No. Just intrigued. Intrigued by Norman Vincent Peale’s words and intrigued by the concept of simply slowing down and engaging all brain cells, memories, and… yes, in the proper pecking order… emotions. The concept of slowing our world down long enough to THINK before we speak or act.

It just might be the secret to winning – games and life.

Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Also See: More Norman Vincent Peale quotes!

Are Grains Harming Our Brains?

A Renowned Neurologist Says, "YES!"

Grain Brain
I often like to remind Self Help Daily readers that I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other variety of medical expert.  I’m like most of you – I gather my information from experts, then come to my own conclusions, based on their years of expertise and research.

I thought this would be an appropriate time to remind you of this very fact as I introduce you to one such expert and his fascinating studies with grain’s effects on the brain.

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, has a very popular book that you may have heard of:  Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers.

If you’ve read much on the subject of wheat and other forms of gluten, you probably realize that the wheat we have today is not the wheat our great grandparents enjoyed. As William Davis, MD points out in Wheat Belly, “…  today’s wheat has been genetically altered to provide processed-food manufacturers the greatest yield at the lowest cost.”

Grain Brain  and Wheat Belly are filled with information about the negative effects this “genetically altered” wheat has on our bodies and minds.

Here’s a scary statistic: More than 5 million Americans are now living with Alzheimer’s. That doesn’t even count the numbers who are living with other forms of dementia – If we knew the numbers for those, combined with the Alzheimer’s numbers, I’m certain we’d lose sleep.

For weeks.

David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, Board Certified neurologist, and author of the book Grain Brain believes we can do a GREAT deal to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by our diet alone.

Perlmutter says we should focus on eating lots of nuts, veggies, olive oil, eggs, wild fish, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, avocados and some dairy, but to always choose whole milk.

As for what we should avoid, he says to stay away from trans fats, sugars, processed foods and carbs.

He gives the green light for eating fruits sparingly but says we should completely eliminate gluten.

From Amazon:

David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthyones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our “smart genes” through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs. With a revolutionary 4-week plan, GRAIN BRAIN teaches us how we can reprogram our genetic destiny for the better.

GRAIN BRAIN is a #1 New York Times bestseller and a finalist for a 2013 Books for a Better Life award.

Reviews for Grain Brain:

“Dr. Perlmutter takes us on a detailed tour of the destructive effects that ‘healthy whole grains’ have on our brains. Modern wheat, in particular, is responsible for destroying more brains in this country than all the strokes, car accidents, and head trauma combined. Dr. Perlmutter makes a persuasive case for this wheat-free approach to preserve brain health and functioning, or to begin the process of reversal.” –William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly

“If you want to boost your brain power, keep your memory, and lift your mood and energy, as well as heal from a host of other common complaints, Dr. Perlmutter is your guide. This is the definitive instruction book for the care and feeding of your brain!” –Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution

“Dementia and many other brain diseases are not inevitable, nor are they genetic. They are directly and powerfully linked to a diet high in sugar and grains. Grain Brain not only proves this, it also gives you everything you need to know to protect your brain–or a loved one’s–now.”–Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

If  you’re interested in learning more about Grain Brain, click through one of the links or the picture at the top.

Coming Next Week: My review of Wheat Belly!

The Mt. Baldy Lesson of Life: Pause. Reflect. Keep Going.

A Shaky Step is Still a Step

Keep Going
 

Ever heard of Indiana’s Mt. Baldy? This is how Wikipedia describes Mt. Baldy:

Mount Baldy is a sand dune located in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It is the tallest sand dune on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is 123 feet tall.

This is how I describe Mt. Baldy:

Darn near killed me.

About twenty years ago, my husband and our three beautiful little girls (Emily, Brittany, and Stephany) visited friends in northern Indiana. Someone thought it’d be a great idea to climb Mt. Baldy. After suffering much abuse from this endless sand dune, no one wanted to own up to WHO’s idea it was. Even if they wanted to own up to it – they couldn’t. No breath = no voice.

Along the relentless, steep, upward climb, we paused a few times – probably more than a few, but who’s counting? There were three or four times when I came to a complete stop and actually looked behind me – gauging whether going back down was an option.

Each time, however, I saw how far I’d come and decided to keep going.  The steps I’d accomplished (and lived to tell about) gave me confidence to continue my journey.

When we reached the top, there were just a few little shade trees to be found. Other climbers, gasping for breath were crowded around most of the shade (some were even laid out, like they were making snow angels… but without moving.  My  sweaty, unable to speak, and exhausted little group huddled around the nearest little tree.  There was an incredible sense of accomplishment, in spite of the physical exhaustion.

We’d made it!

It felt pretty darn cool to have completed such a grueling, physical task.  Seriously, you can’t imagine how STEEP that climb was – and in sand, no less! Each step seemed like you were taking about 10 because you kept sinking with each step.

And did I mention it was August? H-O-T!

When I remembered how to activate my senses, I stood up and, with three little girls who I’m pretty sure were laughing at me, looked around at the view. If I’d had any breath, it would have taken it away.

Again.

The view was spectacular.  It’s something I’ve never forgotten – even after 20 years.  I remember how proud I was of the accomplishment and I remember how beautiful everything was –  just like it was yesterday.

Over the years, a lot has changed. Our friends no longer live in northern Indiana…  I believe Mt. Baldy is now closed to the public….  Our girls are still beautiful, but only their father could still consider them “little girls.”

No matter how many things have changed, one thing remains the same: The “Mt. Baldy Lesson” still holds true.

Life, like Mt. Baldy, can sometimes be a steep climb. There are times when we kind of stall in our steps – emotionally wrung out and spiritually exhausted – and wonder how we can possibly take another step.  It’s times like this when we should just pause and look at the progress we’ve made.

The steps we made and  lived to tell about.

A few things we need to keep in mind during the climb:

  • There’s a difference between pausing and stopping. Pausing says, “OK. Let me regroup, then I’ll  continue.” Stopping says, “Done.”
  • No one ever said it was going to be easy.
  • If we stop, we’ll just have to start all over again. Then, any progress will have been wasted.
  • When you pause, look back at how far you’ve come. Use that as motivation to go a little further.  Then, pause again. Look back again. Keep using the steps you’ve taken to fuel the ones you have left.
  • No matter which one of life’s steep journeys you’re on, remember that stopping isn’t an option. The only way you’re going to get there is to keep going.
  • Don’t beat yourself up when you feel tired or “wrung out.”  Just keep going – even a shaky step is still a step.
  • No one else can understand your journey unless they’ve walked in your steps.  If I were to mention “Mt. Baldy” to my husband and daughters, they’d grimace. They walked the walk so they know the talk. If I mentioned “Mt. Baldy” to my favorite cashier at Kroger, she wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about. She might even say something like, “Oh, it couldn’t have been that bad.”   Then she wouldn’t be my favorite cashier anymore.
  • The view from the top is something you’ll never forget.

Again, twenty years later, the experience is still something I remember vividly – just like it was yesterday.

Find your strength. Keep going.  You will make it.

 

Review: Bend Your Brain (From the Minds Behind “Marbles” The Brain Store)

151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (And Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind has a few questions for you: Want to get your frontal lobe breaking a sweat? Make your blood pump to your cerebellum? Stretch your occipital lobe to its limits?

If you’re as interested in mental fitness and brain health as I am, you’ll answer this question with a question of your own: How soon can we begin?!

Fortunately, you can begin the second you get your hands on this outstanding book. Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind is actually more than a book, if we’re being honest here. It’s more of a workout program for the part of our body that is probably taken more for granted than any other part.  Which is perfectly ridiculous when you consider that it runs the whole shebang.

Bend Your Brain
From the Back Cover:

Then you need to bend your brain! This first book from the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store, a chain devoted to building better brains, offers puzzles and brain teasers to help enhance memory, build problem-solving skills, and reduce stress.
Since Marbles started helping people play their way to a healthier brain, they’ve sold, solved, and been stumped by more than their fair share of puzzles. Along the way, they’ve learned which puzzles tie people in knots (not in a good way) and which ones make the neurons downright giddy. With the help of their in-house team of BrainCoaches and access to cutting-edge neuroscience, they’ve designed these puzzles to keep your mind flexible and fit.
Arranged in five key brain categories—visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory—Bend Your Brain offers a variety of puzzles ranging from mind-warming (easy) to mind-blowing (hard!):

·  Connecting the dots? More like working your spatial-orientation skills.
·  Identifying famous smiles? Flexing your visual memory.
·  Taking a closer look at your keyboard? Coding, storing, and retrieving.
·  Word-doku? Summoning cognitive abilities like appraisal, inference, impulse control, and evaluation.
·  Word scrambles? Tapping your brain’s association areas.

Your brain is your most important muscle, so let the brain-building begin! –  Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
I have to say, I love everything about “Bend Your Brain.”  I know the STELLAR reputation Marbles: The Brain Store has in the mental fitness world.  When it comes to brain fitness, Marbles is “all in.”  They invest their hearts, bodies, and souls into discovering how the brain works, what it needs to keep working at an optimum level, where problems can arise, and what steps can be taken to avoid these problems.  I’d have as much confidence in their teachings on brain health as I would Rachael Ray’s teachings on cooking, Jillian Michael’s teachings on physical fitness, Albert Pujols’ teachings on swinging a baseball bat…

Well, you get the idea. We’re talking about experts in their chosen field.

MARBLES: THE BRAIN STORE is in malls across the country. They’ve been featured in Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, USA Today, and Wired, as well as on the Today show and Martha Stewart Living.  Like I said… experts.

While the book is flexible, the cover is made of a very sturdy material – it isn’t the type of “romance novel” paper covers that dog-ear or tear. It’s ideal for curling up in a comfy chair with a pencil and a hot Chai Tea Latte as you treat your mind to a FUN and STIMULATING workout.  I’m, perhaps, more familiar with brain games and brain puzzles than the average person. Another one of my blogs (“Out of Bounds“) involves mental fitness and brain health.  While doing research for the articles on “Out of Bounds,” I’ve bought and used countless books with “brain stimulating” puzzles.

Frankly, there are quite a few on the market that are outstanding. However, the puzzles throughout Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind are different from other puzzles I’ve seen in other books. Bend Your Brain does a much better job of letting you know WHY you need each type of puzzle.  I also love the fact that the puzzles address the five key brain categories (visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory).

What good would it be to focus on just one or two?!?!

If I were to recommend one book for the individual who is interested in protecting and strengthening their mind, this would be the book.  The puzzles are a PERFECT blend of challenging, very challenging, and OMG challenging.  What’s more, they’re a lot of fun!

If you’re looking to strengthen your mind and memory, increase self-confidence, and even improve your problem-solving skills, Bend Your Brain shouldn’t just be the next book you buy… it has to be the next book you buy.

Click through and learn more about Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind. Trust me, this is one you and your brain are going to love.

Bend Your Brain Book Review
Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.

Quote of the Day: Kind Words are the Music of the World

Just In Case You Forgot How Beautiful Kindness Is...

Inspirational Quote about Kindness
Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power that seems to be beyond natural causes, as though they were some angel’s song which had lost its way and come back to earth. – Anonymous

More Quotes About Kindness