Thou Shalt Not Whine by January Jones

Thou Shalt Not Whine! Advice for Growing Older without Whining From Author January Jones

In the hilarious, yet equally thought-provoking, book Thou Shalt Not Whine, author January Jones reminds us of a pit people tend to fall into as they grow older. They tend to complain (yes, maybe even whine) about their age. They often develop a mindset of expecting others to do things for them…

Why? Because they’re old.

Some expect to be able to get away with rudeness…

Why? Because they’re old.

Many will complain, at great length, to anyone and everyone about their aches, pains, creaks, and… yes… even bathroom visits.

Why?  Oh, you know.

January Jones, in a witty, insightful style that’s all her own, has this great advice for people who complain about getting older: She suggests to simply stop looking in the mirror and to act any age you choose – preferably the age you remember as the best time of your life.

Beautiful.

Read my Thou Shalt Not Whine Review on Self Help Daily.

Thou Shalt Not Whine: The Eleventh Commandment: What We Whine About, Why We Do It and How to Stop is available on Amazon (paperback) and is also available for Kindle – meaning you can start laughing right away!

Quote About the Calming Effects of Tea

There's a Great Deal of Comfort in a Cup of Tea

Quote About Tea
This morning, my trip to the grocery store wasn’t as uneventful as it normally is. Seems my car’s brakes forgot how to do their job.  Thankfully when I first noticed their sudden case of amnesia I was in a parking lot so I was going really slow.  So thankfully I didn’t hit anyone or anything.

Just as it approaches that time of year when my brain begins to think about the holidays, Christmas shopping, and all the wonderful things that come from September – December… that’s when my car says, “You know what’d be cool right now? A big fat Mechanic Shop bill!”

It has such a sick idea of good times.

As soon as I got back home, I did the only thing I could do or needed to do.  I poured myself a big tall glass of sweet tea and everything was right with the world again.

Tea is the comfort food of drinks, isn’t it?  I love it for that.

The quote at the top is from a great book I recently reviewed on my tea blog. The book’s aptly titled Tea Wisdom and it’s absolutely a little beauty.  Click the title to read more about this book and see more tea quotes.

As for me, I think my day calls for another pot of tea.

How to Make it Through the First Year of Sobriety (Special Article)

Help for Those Re-Covering from Addiction

Below is an article that’s being shared with Self Help Daily’s readers who, quite possibly, find themselves fighting for a better life.  Sometimes you need a little help when fighting worthy opponents – fortunately, help isn’t just out there, it’s readily available!

How to Make it Through Sobriety      Sobriety Help
The risk of addiction relapse is highest during the first year of a recovering addict’s sobriety. Acute withdrawal from alcohol or drugs may last only about a week to 10 days, but even after acute withdrawal ends, a recovering addict may continue to struggle with feelings of depression, mental fogginess, memory problems and other symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS. These symptoms may last throughout the first year of sobriety.

Recovering addicts may also struggle in their first year of sobriety because they lack the coping skills they need to deal with normal life challenges and stress — and the first year of recovery is a time of high stress. Most newly sober addicts are still reeling from the loss of what had become their only source of pleasure and comfort — substances. In addition, they’re also dealing with the emotional fallout of their addiction and may be facing, for the first time, the emotional pain that first led them to abuse drugs and alcohol.

In order to make it through the difficult and emotionally fraught first year of recovery, addicts need to attend an inpatient rehab program. However, the work doesn’t end when rehab does — in many ways, it’s just beginning. Addicts leaving rehab need to have a continuing care plan in place that includes the 12-Step program, outpatient counseling and a basic understanding of self-care.

Inpatient Treatment Can Make or Break Your Recovery

For the addict who truly wants to get and stay sober, inpatient treatment should be the first step. In order to be effective, a residential addiction treatment program should last at least four weeks. Many programs last as long as 90 days, and some will allow patients to remain in the facility for as long as they and their counselors see fit. A 90-day stay in an inpatient rehab facility can lay a solid foundation on which you can build a lifetime of sobriety. Not spending enough time in inpatient treatment, or skipping it altogether, however, can derail your recovery before it even has a chance to get under way.

Spend Time in Sober Living

You should think twice about heading straight home and jumping right back into your regular routine the minute you leave your inpatient treatment facility. If you’re like many recovering addicts, you’ll be facing the demands of the world while completely sober for the first time in years. You need some time to adjust to functioning in society again in a sober environment where you can continue to enjoy some protection from temptation.

Entering a sober living facility for a month or two will make it easier for you to focus on re-adjusting to normal life, since you won’t have to worry so much about resisting temptation. It will take the pressure off your loved ones, too, since they won’t have to worry about watching you for signs of substance abuse. Many sober living homes also offer some level of addiction counseling.

Participate in the 12-Step Program

One of the biggest advantages of the 12-Step program is its size — no matter where you are, you will have access to a meeting. Many addiction experts and recovering addicts recommend that people new to recovery attend 90 meetings in 90 days. While this might seem like a lot of meetings, it’s an important way to establish a sober support network for yourself, in the form of sober friends and a sober sponsor and begin learning how you can navigate the ups and downs of life without substances. Once the 90 days are over, you can attend less often as long as it doesn’t compromise your recovery.

Stay in Counseling

While you’ve no doubt made significant progress in uncovering the roots of your substance abuse disorder in counseling during your inpatient treatment program, you will need continued counseling to completely resolve these issues. You may choose an outpatient treatment program, where you continue to go to group and individual counseling at night for three to five days a week. Alternatively, you may begin seeing a counselor who specializes in addiction issues one-on-one. The important thing is that you continue with therapy. Many recovering addicts stay in therapy even after the first year of sobriety is up.

Take Care of Yourself

The most important thing you can do to help yourself through the first year of your sobriety is to learn about the symptoms of PAWS and what to do about them if you recognize them in yourself. Even if you do not develop PAWS symptoms, you need to focus on caring for yourself physically and emotionally from now on. Make getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right and making time for the things you enjoy a priority in your life. As a recovering addict, it’s especially important that you rediscover how to take pleasure in normal, wholesome fun again, so make time every day to do things you enjoy. Keep trying out new things, too — you might just discover your next favorite hobby.

The first year of recovery is the hardest. In order to make it through your first 12 months of sobriety, you’re going to need to commit to working hard at your recovery every day. It won’t be easy, but in the end, it will be worth it.

Get a Life Without Sacrificing Your Career

How to Make More Time for What’s Really Important (Book Excerpt)

Bonuses come upon the completion of projects.  Signed contracts come at the end of negotiations.  Points go on the scoreboard only when the runner crosses the goal line.  One thing completed is worth ten things on hold.  Incomplete tasks can make you feel depressed and wasted; you will feel energized after completing them.  -  Get A Life Without Sacrificing Your Career: How to Make More Time for What’s Really Important by Dianna Booher.

This excerpt is a perfectly eloquent reminder that tasks we have yet to complete zap our energy and leave us feeling overwhelmed and under-motivated.  Un-done tasks stare at us, mockingly, while they kick dirt on our self confidence and self worth.

Fortunately the story doesn’t have to end there.  Self confidence and self worth will get a much-needed boost the instant we take one of these un-done tasks and turn them into a done task.  Remarkably, the minute you begin to chip away at something, you find energy you didn’t even know you had.

From the Back Cover:

Hop off the treadmill without losing career momentum! Do you remember leisure-fondly? Do you remember when there was time to stop and smell the flowers and to evaluate what was really worth doing? NOT just another guide to cramming even more activities into an already packed schedule, this book shows busy professionals how to: Discover your real priorities and follow your star to fulfillment; Loosen the constricting bonds of obligation; Remove negatives from your life to make room for happiness. With inspiration, wisdom, and nerve, this book treats time as the profound gift it is. An internationally recognized communications expert and writer of 28 books, Dianna Booher gives you practical suggestions for handling the complexities of life and finding real joy.

 

How to Get Work Done When You Don’t Fell Like Working (at all!)

When Your Give a Dang Can't Be Found

Funny Quote About Work
Ever have one of those days when you just flat don’t want to do anything. As in anything at all – unless, of course, lying on the couch watching TVLand counts.

I don’t know about you, but I find that I’ve always got time for and interest in Andy and Barney.

Funny, though, the same can’t always be said for housework, writing, laundry, etc.  Those of us who work from home (in my opinion) have a tougher time than most. Let’s face it, if we don’t feel like working, we simply don’t.

Cue the whistling and tell Andy and Opie to grab their fishing rods.

Of course, people get sick of work whether they work outside of the home or inside of it. Why? Well, most of the time work just isn’t fun… but unfortunately, it has to be done.

A problem most people run into when they don’t feel like working is they wait for the feeling to hit them.  They mutter around, wondering, “Why don’t I feel like doing anything today?” or “What’s wrong with me?”  Those of us who fancy ourselves writers may even resort to the famous self-diagnosis, “I have writers” block!”

Basically, we’re all saying pretty much the same thing, “This is not fun and I don’t want to do it!

When we turn our attention away from “that which must be done” and point it toward ourselves, we’re actually causing more problems.  In a way, we’re giving ourselves an out….

  • “I’m overwhelmed… I guess I need a break.”
  • “Actually I need another vacation.”
  • “Heck, maybe I need another job.”
  • “I’m so overwhelmed, I’m just going to call it a day.”
  • “All this work CANNOT be good for my health.
  • “Why’d I ever sign on for this?!”

If any of these sound familiar to you, congratulations, you’re human.

The key to getting work D-O-N-E when you don’t feel like D-O-I-N-G it is to.... are you ready for this??… simply DO something – with something being relevant to the task at hand, not watching Andy Griffith, playing Solitaire, or surfing the web. Unless of course someone’s paying you to do these things, in which case, you are my idol.

Truth be told, DOING SOMETHING is actually the answer to just about every problem known to mankind. Rarely does just sitting around, self-analyzing yourself accomplish anything of real value.

The next time you find yourself asking the questions above (you know, the ones with “out” written all over them), silence them with action. Just do something productive – getting something accomplished beats self paralysis by self analysis any day of the week.

My favorite trick for doing this is to simply devote 10 minutes at a whack.

Example: A few days ago, I was in one of those ruts we looked at above. Didn’t want to do any of the 20+ things on my to do list.  I decided to take the first one on the list and promise 10 minutes to it. Anyone can promise 10 minutes to something, right?  The great thing is, once you’ve started, you will finish even if you exceed the 10 minutes.  After I began the task, within 20 minutes it was done and scratching it off of my list was almost as satisfying as a Chai Tea Latte.

Almost.

Take emotion out of the equation when your mind tells you that you “just don’t feel like” doing something that has to be done. When it says, “I don’t feel like doing this,” respond with, “Oh, that’ okay, you don’t have to feel like it to do it…”‘

Then set your timer for 10 minutes and get ‘er done.

The Blender Girl (Review on “Get Cooking”)

Get Cooking's Review of The Blender Girl
July 31, 2014

Vegetable Smoothie

Here’s a link to a review I wrote on my food blog – it’s for a visually beautiful and nutritionally bountiful cookbook, The Blender Girl by Tess Masters. This cookbook is currently the #1 Bestseller on Amazon for Blender Recipes and it’s little wonder. The recipes are excellent and the advice is priceless.

See: The Blender Girl Review on Get Cooking!

To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals. – Buddha

How to Use Your Subconscious Mind to Help You Achieve Goals

3 Simple Steps to Making Your Subconsciousness Work for You

Quote About Achieving Goals with Our Subconscious Mind
The quote above, by Earl Nightingale, is a beautiful reminder of the power of our subconscious mind. Whether we fully realize it or not, our subconsciousness is one of our most powerful weapons – sometimes all we really need to do is get out of its way.

If we were to take the quote above and drain every drop of self improvement goodness from it (something we should do with all inspirational quotes), we’d realize a few things:

  1. First of all, we should make certain that we feel as strongly about our goals as we think we do.  Have you ever found yourself struggling with a particular goal or dream only to realize it isn’t even your dream? That, in fact, you’re actually trying to live up to someone else’s goal for your life? There’s a reason that doesn’t work – YOU have to feel strongly and passionately about the goal or dream. It has to be YOUR dream. YOUR vision. YOUR passion. If it’s someone else’s dream, let them work on it while you work on your own.
  2. How do you make sure the idea is “buried deep” in your subconscious mind? At the risk of grossly oversimplifying… you put it there!  Think about the goal you want to achieve and think about it often. You aren’t working some sort of mumbo jumbo – trying to bring the fulfillment to you, you are taking yourself to the fulfillment. Proactive beats inactive or reactive every single time when you’re going after goals. Goals and dreams aren’t on wheels, you can’t coax them to come to you, you have to lace up your own skates and roll to them. Frequently thinking about these objects of desire puts the wheels in motion. This particular step is why things like “vision boards” (picture collages of images that represent goals and dreams) are so popular. It’s also why so many experts recommend “picturing” yourself where you WANT to be. Both of these exercises are ways of burying the idea deep in your subconscious.
  3. When you’ve put your subconscious mind on the path to your goals, let it works its magic. You’ll find yourself with fresh ideas for making your way down this particular path.

Your subconsciousness is your own personal superhero and he/she is just waiting for you to call them to action.

The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment. – Earl Nightingale

Why The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman Should be the Next Book You Buy (Review)

Ten Reasons Why You're Going to Love this Book

The VB6 Cookbook Collage

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

If you’re looking for fun, simple ways to eat healthier, here’s a book that’ll prove to be a dream come true for you. The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night doesn’t just provide you with delicious, easy to make recipes that won’t break the bank, it makes eating healthier fun and.. yes… tastier.

Okay. Before you accuse me of getting my Self Help Blog mixed up with my Food Blog (Get Cooking) let me assure you I’m posting a cookbook review on Self Help Daily for an excellent reason. You see, this isn’t just a cookbook. This book is actually part of a life improving program, The VB6 plan by Mark Bittman.  Anything that can improve someone’s health and life is a perfect fit for a self help and self improvement blog.

Have you ever heard the term “flexitarian?” Flexitarian refers to a relationship with food that isn’t 100 percent strictly vegan.  It’s a way of eating that is flexible, meaning more people will actually STICK with it. Mark Bittman’s VB6 program is simplistically beautiful: You simply eat vegan before 6:00 pm.  The program has helped a great number of people improve their health, lose weight, and feel better than they’d felt in years.

See? I told you this book was a perfect fit for a Self Improvement blog!

Below are the Top 10 Reasons you shouldn’t wait another day before you buy The VB6 Cookbook:

  1. Gorgeous Book. Whenever I review a book on Self Help Daily or Get Cooking, I always pay close attention to my first impression of the book. Is it well-made (meaning it’ll stand up to years of use and enjoyment)? Is it attractive? Does it look like the publishers were serious about impressing the readers or was their heart only halfway into it? The VB6 Cookbook is a real looker. The beautiful, hardback, 250+ page book is everything, visually, I’d want a book to be.
  2. Mark Bittman. Period. To say I cook a lot is a ridiculous understatement. I’m in my kitchen more often than a Priest is in church.  I’m seldom happier than I am when I’m cooking meals for my family and I LOVE trying out new recipes as much as I LOVE using and re-using favorite recipes.  Mark Bittman is the author of many of my favorite recipes. When I want to try out a new recipe for something in particular, I’ll turn to Mark Bittman’s recipes before I turn to a lot of household name celebrity chefs.  His recipes never fail, it’s as simple as that.
  3. Healthy Eating = Healthy Living. Not long ago, I spent a few days in the waiting room of a cardiology surgical center.  I was with a family member who was WAY too young to find themselves in a hospital gown in such a place. Sad thing was, as I looked around, I saw A LOT of people who were WAY too young to be where they were. Heart disease isn’t just frightening, it’s striking more and more people and it’s striking them at younger ages.  Plain and simple, it’s the American diet and something has got to be done about it.  We’re creating our own plague of Biblical proportions and if people don’t wake up and start eating healthier, they’ll find themselves in hospitals, cardiology departments, and worse.
  4. KISS.  No, not the rock group.  KISS as in Keep It Simple, Stupid.  This book – or more to the point, this program – makes it painless and incredibly simple to start eating healthier. If you don’t know why that’s important, you must have skipped number 3.
  5. Delicious Food! Even if, somehow, you didn’t associate these recipes with healthier eating, you’d still love the delicious flavors.
  6. Fun Food.  Whether you’re one of those people who live to cook (like me) or you’d rather do just about anything BUT cook, you’ll love The VB6 Cookbook.  The recipes are fun, creative, and mix things up a bit in the kitchen.  You’ll find recipes you’ll be so excited about you’ll want to try them the very day you get the book.  I actually made my first recipe (Chipotle “Mayo”) from The VB6 Cookbook within 2 hours of getting the book in the mail. That’s a new record, even for me.
  7. Your Family. While this one may somewhat tie in with number 3, it’s important enough to get it’s very own number.  The more healthy meals you’re able to feed your family, the better their health will be. Not only are you giving them wholesome, healthy food at one particular meal, you’re introducing them to a whole new relationship with food. They’ll soon realize that healthier eating is actually more flavorful than unhealthy eating.  When you get right down to it, most unhealthy food tastes pretty much the same.  Fried. Fatty. Salty.  The VB6 way of eating will introduce your loved ones to a world of wonderful flavors that’ll make them fall in love with healthier eating.  Here’s a little secret about eating healthy – you can keep this between you and me, the kids and spouses don’t have to know: Healthy eating becomes addictive.  When you get rid of the bad stuff, you’ll find yourself craving the good stuff.  Where you once said, “I need a big fat cheeseburger with a farmer’s wealth of bacon,” you’ll find yourself thinking, “I have to have a Cherry Vanilla Smoothie and Vegetable Pot Pie or maybe Schezuan Beef and Celery..” (3 of the recipes in the book).  I don’t know why – but it’s my experience that the healthier you eat, the healthier you want to eat. Sadly the same is true about unhealthy eating.
  8. Motivation and Inspiration.  The first pages of the book include Mark Bittman’s “My Story.”  The motivational intro makes you even more committed to eating right. Basically, you jump right in the boat with the author and agree to go on a healthier journey with him.  He’s one of those authors who write in a manner that makes you feel like he’s talking to you, personally.  Reading his books (and even his recipes) feels like you’re having a nice little visit with him.  This type of writing cannot be taught, it’s a gift and when he was gifted, he was gifted generously.
  9. Information and Advice Beyond the Recipes.   After the wonderful Introduction, pages 12 through 45 lay out the VB6 plan beautifully. There are charts, information, meal plans, ideas, suggestions, and more.   There are also personalized tips and ideas with each recipe in the book – including “variations” and “more ideas.”
  10. You’re the Boss of You.  While The VB6 program is best (as in you’ll see the most results) if you follow it as designed, when all’s said and done, You’re the boss of you!  If you want to approach the program strictly and eat Vegan before 6:00 on most, if not all, days – go for it!  If you want to simply add MORE vegetarian meals to your diet, then approach the cookbook in that way.  If you’re simply looking for fresh new healthy recipes to serve your family… the cookbook is still a must have.

 Some of the recipes you’ll love:

  • Chipotle “Mayo” (the first recipe I made from the book – delicious! This “mayo” is a great dip for vegetables and is excellent as a condiment for burgers or protein patties)
  • Scrambled Sweet and Hot Peppers
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Nut Butters
  • Everyday Salad Bowl
  • Blueberry Spoon Bread
  • Schezuan Beef and Celery
  • Cherry Vanilla Smoothie
  • Avocado Banana Smoothie
  • Morning Milkshake
  • Pork Chop Pan Roast
  • Raspberry Sorbet on a Stick
  • Green Toast
  • Fruit Candy
  • Frozen Tropical Truffles
  • Red Paella with Scallops
  • Beans, Shrimp, and Fennel
  • Southwestern Bean Dip with Peppers (black beans, cloves,cilantro…)
  • Red Soup
  • Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Big Batch Cooked Beans
  • Rice Pudding with Slow-Roasted Fruit
  • MANY MANY MANY more.

From the Back Cover:

Mark Bittman’s breakthrough diet plan, first introduced in the #1 New York Times bestselling VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good (click through for the hard back version of this bestseller  - a Kindle edition is also available), has been hailed as “compelling” (Publisher’s Weekly), “commonsense” (Washington Post), “sustainable” (TheKitchn.com), and a “small painless change” that can have a “huge impact” (Salon.com). Now he expands on his appealing, simple, reasonable approach to flexitarian cooking with a companion cookbook, featuring hundreds of delicious new ways to make VB6 your permanent style of eating. It’s never been easier to eat vegan before 6:00 – and deliciously all of the time.

I hope you’ll click through and take a closer look at The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night - I’m really excited about this particular approach to eating and I’m having a ball with the wonderful recipes.

I know you’ll love The VB6 Cookbook just as much as I do.

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

The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Urban Halo: Chic Headband That’s Perfect for Summer

My Urban Halo

Urban Halo - Midnight Lace

This one’s for the girls (sorry guys).  I’ve fallen hard for a new headband that I thought you might like to check out.  Urban Halos are silky soft headbands that keep your hair out of your face when your face is the last place you want it to be!

Whether you’re gardening, walking, jogging, cooking (!), or simply enjoying a day on the lake, Urban Halos save the day and look uncommonly chic while doing so.

These super soft, comfortable, and great looking headbands are available in a lot of colors and styles, including one that’s pretty hot right now: Pink Camo.  Each headband is just $15, which is actually a great price given the fact that they’re exceptionally well made.  My personal favorite (and the one I was sent to check out) is called “Midnight Lace.” The colors go with anything and everything and… I dunno… I think it brings a touch of glamour to even mundane moments like frying eggs!

Cooking is actually my favorite time to use headbands. It keeps my hair back out of the way – which, let’s face it, when you’re cooking, is a very good thing.

I also love the one (pictured below) called “Street Cred.”  Really sharp.

I have to say, when I was contacted about checking these headbands out, I didn’t get my hopes up, because my luck with headbands is kind of crummy.  Normally they either give me a headache or slide down so often they drive me nuts – but Urban Halos are different from the rest.  No headaches. No sliding.  No worries.

See Urban Halo for more information. Be sure to click through the indiscreet numbers at the bottom of each page to see the MANY colors and styles.  You might want to grab several – a few for yourself and maybe even some to put back for Christmas gifts.

Urban Halo: Street Cred