Food Tastes Better Together

tastes-By Debs (ò‿ó)♪ from Bellevue, WA, USA (Chicken Noodle) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tastes Better Together

Have you ever noticed that food sometimes tastes better when it is shared with people you care about?

The phrase breaking bread is an idea I have known since I was little. 

For me it means sharing a meal with loved ones, or people you want to get to know better.

Spending time with “family”,  your blood or who you choose, can be an interesting experiment in how food tastes.

Today I was over at my brothers watching my mother, brother, and sister-in-law make jam.

After the jam making show, we all sat down for some chicken noodle soup.

Right Meal, Right Time

Chicken noodle soup was the perfect meal for a sunny Sunday afternoon of football and home cooking.

It tasted amazing. Everything in the soup added to the flavor. 

Nothing was overcooked, or bland.

There was enough spice, and a little butter.

It reminded me of eating roasted chicken with carrots, and celery.

Instead of potatoes, we had saltine crackers.

The meal was mostly quiet. We had socialized through football watching and jam making.

Quiet can be comfortable when each of us is focused on the task at hand.

In this case, the task was eating a yummie meal.

Comparing Notes

When we spoke, it was mostly about how good the soup tasted.

We talked about making the soup. How it’s not really possible to make it exactly the same twice.

Today’s soup was the today soup, never to be duplicated again. In all it’s familiarity, it was a very a special soup.

Eating this soup on our own would not have been the same.

No notes compared, nor any contentedness shared.

I would not have been able to hear about how the carrots were grown in the backyard. Not about how, because of the frost, they were extra sweet.

Do you find that sharing a meal with those you call family highlights the food you are eating? If so, in what way?

Have a great start to your week of training. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

What is in the Middle of a Compliment Sandwich

compliment-By Lara604 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/3352191845/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Compliment Sandwich

What is in the middle of a compliment sandwich?

All the stuff you need to improve. 

You did fantastic at, consider focusing on, but I really liked what you did there.

It sounds nice and a way to soften more critical feedback, but does it really help?

Thomas is not a fan of the compliment sandwich, so we talk about it now and then after being trained or training someone.

Is there a time where it works?

The Direct Approach

Being Scandinavian, Thomas is used to direct communication.

There is not need to make what is being said more palatable, as long as it is the facts.

He listens for facts, and blows off the emotions that may come attached to them.

Mostly when he is giving and providing feedback.

This directness can be refreshing.

There isn’t any reason to second guess what is being said, it is literally what it is.

On the other hand it can be used in a rather harsh way.

There is direct, then there is brutally honest.

After living in the US for over 18 years Thomas has lost a lot of the just because it is true it is OK to say it.

Facts Can Cause Pain

Just because something is true, does it need to be said?

Most people are aware that they may have put on a few pounds.

Have a haircut that might not be very flattering.

Could have done a better job, when things do not go right.

Instead of pointing out the obvious, and hiding behind the truth, is it better to wait and see if they open up the conversation?

A compliment sandwich can hide what you are trying to say.

If someone asks for feedback and is looking to improve do you need to sugarcoat it?

Can that come off as degrading?

I prefer the upfront “let’s review what worked, and let’s review what did not work”.

With both parties saying what they observed.

Do you find a compliment sandwich a useful communication tool? In what way?

Nice knee bend, you can train harder, your water bottle is cool. Sandwiched you are, Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Get Out While The Sun Is Shining

shining

Shining Sun

Feeling the shining sun on your face is one way to pick up your energy and your spirits.

After working another long day, clocked in nine and half hours on a day that is supposed to last seven.

I feel very inefficient. I do have to keep in my mind starting at 6:00 – 6:15am, for me, is asking a lot.

Everything takes longer to think through.

When the adrenaline rush is over from trying to follow up and connect with everyone going offline for the rest of the day, I would like to go back to bed. 

One day, I will be able to start work at eight and end at four like my colleagues in Denmark. 

At least that is the story I keep telling myself. 

Until then, heading out into the sun is a way to get a little extra energy in the afternoon.

Burst of Energy

As someone who thinks about habits a lot, and how to add new ones, break ones that are no longer working, finding a way to break a pattern is bonus.

I have come across setting yourself up for success by preparing to do what you want to do.

Like putting out your training gear, so as soon as you get up or get home, you change and get moving.

Something I recently heard was using exercise, or activity to give you bursts of energy in order to do other things you would like.

This makes sense for evening activities.

After a day of work like today, the last thing I can imagine is using more brain energy.

So getting out into the sun and moving a bit was the plan to see if I can find
“a little more in the tank”.

I have been studying for a Health Coach certification as part of the continuing education requirements for my personal training certification.

Even though I have been down this education path before and a lot is familiar, I still feel like I am charting a new course.

To find the energy to study in the evenings, I need a burst of energy.

Hopefully a bit of sunshine and movement can bring that to me.

What ways have you tried to get that extra burst of energy?

Get in a bit of training to get more out of your day. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Feeling Unhinged, and Sleep Deprivation

unhinged-By Brocken Inaglory edit by user:Kallerna [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

Unhinged Feelings

Feeling unhinged is a BIG sign of sleep deprivation. 

Even little things can generate feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, and overwhelm.

It is a highly unpleasant place to find yourself.

Having been around a few parents with newborns, I recognize the inability to do simple things and make easy decisions.

Everything is blown out of proportion.

Yesterday, I found myself in tears without an ability to explain why, besides “this sucks!”.

One bad night of sleep and my mind was stuck ruminating about all that I perceived as bad. 

Last night I had a much better night of sleep and my resilience went up markedly.

Surfing The Stress Wave

Yesterday, I felt that I was caught by a wave, being tossed and turned. Not knowing if I was going to catch my next breath.

Today, I was surfing my stress wave. 

All the busywork was still there. The need to act fast and get stuff done, before the next thing came in.

But I was able to distance myself, not own the situation as much.

There are things I can not control, that I can not take responsibility for.

I can do my best to help move it in a positive direction, but if others are not on board then I cannot force it.

Little Mistakes Seem Like Big Problems

The thing that trips me up the most are little mistakes taking on the disguise of a big problem.

What looked like a huge problem yesterday, was a manageable mistake today.

Being able to breathe through, making decisions on how to act, is much more pleasant than gasping for air.

Sleep deprivation makes a person into an unhinged mess. A mess that functions, sort of.

What are your experiences with sleep deprivation? How were you able to manage and make it through?

A little bout of training can give a boost of needed energy. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Training Is A Privilege

privilege-By Rjgunn007 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Privilege of Training

Do you feel that it is a privilege to train?

Even though I enjoyed gym class, growing up there were certain activities which I did not enjoy.

Running did not, and does not come easy to me. I understand pace a lot better now and know how to make running not suck as much.

In high school, when we had to run a nine minute mile as part of our fitness test, I always sucked wind.

You know that burning sensation in your lungs that leaves you hacking up imaginary fur balls. 

Every semester we had to do it and I felt like it was torture (Ed: I like running and that still sounds like torture!)

Humble Pie

What I wish had happened was a shift in perspective.

To stop thinking how bad I am at running, and instead think about how lucky I am that I can run.

It never occured to me that being able to run was a privilege.

If I had then, maybe I would have been pleased to be running and not so worried about how fast I ran it.

Yes, it was a test, but what were they going to do..? Not let me run?!?

No, what they did is tell me I needed to run faster, that I was not healthy.

I blamed my slow speed on being short, not on a lack of fitness.

Training was not on my mind back then.

We practiced. That is what we called it.

Practice

A question I heard all the time is “Are you going to practice”.

Whatever activity you were involved with, you practiced. From a musical instrument to the soccer team.

I like the word practice better than training. Practice implies your goal is to improve.

Training sounds like it’s serious work.

Being able to practice, or train, is something that it is easy to take for granted.

Not realizing that for many people it is not possible. For many reasons.

Even if you get to do only a little, be thankful that you can.

Head out to practice today with a purpose of being your best! Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

New Twist On A Once A Week Treat

treat

Treat It Up

A “once a week treat” is taking on a new role in my world.

In the past I associated a treat with something sweet, fatty, and processed.

Something with low nutritive value, but high entertainment value.

With having to cut out caffeine in order to sleep and lower my anxiety, I find I miss the coffee and a the kick of energy it can give me.

I really miss good coffee.

Walking around Whole Foods yesterday, I saw that they have started carrying one of my favorite brands of coffee I came across in a coffee  house in Boston; Stumptown coffee.

I remembered the good times Thomas and I shared on our six week summer of parkour and fun in Boston, two years ago.

Knowing that the taste of this coffee is yummy and has fond memories associated with it, I bit the bullet and bought one bag.

This is going to be a Sunday morning treat. One day a week I get the warm fuzzies and kick of energy, from a cup of joe.

Has To Be Worth It

Thomas has also cut out caffeine because of indigestion issues. He too was  on board with this once a week treat.

It is nice when a plan comes together. 🙂

We both think that a little will be worth the possible anxiety for me, and the indigestion for Thomas.

It may be that we find once a week, is fine for both of us.

For me I know I do not metabolise caffeine quickly, so it sticks around in my system and accumulates. 

I am hoping that once a week will be too little to be a problem.

It is a little silly that it took me this long to look at food that does not work well with me, but that that I like, as a treat.

Treating food and drinks that are enjoyable but not compatible, on even the  slightest level, as a treat helps ease up the feeling of deprivation and loss.

Removing the all or nothing mentality helps to create longevity. 

You can not fall off a wagon if there is no wagon to fall off of.

Have you moved any “non-traditional” treat foods into the treat category for your own reasons?

How has that worked out for you?

Need motivation through a shift in perspective? Consider viewing training as a privilege.

Yes, I want online training!

Direct Communication

direct-By Intel Free Press [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Direct and Clear

Direct and clear communication is an art form.

Getting exposed to a new industry, I find the jargon and abbreviations are more of a barrier than a help.

I have been part of a few different business cultures and they all have their terms and abbreviations that become shorthand in communication.

Sometimes it works, but a lot of the time it can create confusion and tribalism.

It can feel good to belong to group. 

Not belonging to a group can feel very isolating and lonely.

Then there is the limbo of just getting brought into a group, but an assumption of knowing starts to take place.

In a big corporation I imagine it is worse.

Each department or part of the business has its own shorthand.

Those that speak for different departments are at an advantage.

Brief is Better

Is being brief and direct really better?

Sometimes acting like the person you are communicating with does not have a clue will make sure you provide enough information.

It can help speed up a process where the other person does not need to guess, or research what it is you are asking for.

Even if you have asked before and know you have reviewed it, ask again.

Give pointers in the right direction, assume extra help is needed.

When you are new and assumptions are made, it takes up a lot of time trying to get clarification.

If you do not have time to wait then be prepared that more work may be around the corner.

When learning a new system, a business culture and processes, assumptive communication seems to lead to more work.

Action is taken because something needs to get done and good enough is better than nothing.

As you take action you know there is a high chance you will be visiting this work again, to fix or do over.

Keeping the ball rolling can be more important than doing it right.

Direct and clear communication is an art form that takes a lot of practice.

Training is a way to communicate with your body.

Yes, I want online training!

Time In The Morning

morning

Morning Time

Morning can be a time of stress, if you let it. How can a morning routine – or a ritual – help ease you into your day, instead of leaving you longing for bed?

Deciding the night before how your morning is going to look can help suck some of the stress right out of it.

After starting my new job I found myself highly stressed in the mornings.

I did not have a morning commute. Unless you count rolling out of bed and walking to stand at my desk in the living room a commute.

What I did have to do is get up earlier and go toe to toe mentally with people who were experiencing life at 2pm, not 6am like me.

I could tell the difference in being able to process information and act quickly.

Slow is Quick

What I finally came to the conclusion of after, a little while, is that slow is quick.

I can not pretend to be going full force when my mind is still trying to figure out what my body needs to do, in order to get going.

Doing a few body activation movements, just like getting ready to workout, helps ramp up my mind for activity.

Having a small meal also sends a signal that it is time to wake up and get thinking.

Taking deep breaths when reading “urgent” mails, mails that require me to move along a message to someone who will be leaving the office shortly, helps me slow down to craft that message.

Loopholes

When I first started this schedule of early working, I drank coffee.

I thought it would give me an edge. Drinking it so early seemed safe. At least when it comes to being able to sleep at bedtime.

What I found is that my anxiety skyrocketed.

Instead I am trying calming tea. A tea I would normally drink at night to chill before bed.

So far it seems to be helping out.

What morning routine do you like to do?

Enjoy getting in some training today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Quiet Time Before Sleepy Time

quiet-By George W. Ackerman (The Progressive Farmer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Quiet Time

Quiet time is not just for toddlers who need a nap, or for children who need to chill out for a moment while being hyper.

Taking the time to be still and silent is a tool we adults can use to prepare our mind for sleep.

Since most of us had to go sit in the corner, or go to our rooms and “don’t make a noise” at some point, we already know how to do it.

Instead of it being a punishment for being loud or rambunctious, as an adult it is a privilege to turn off the noise and chill.

I wonder how many parents look at their child with envy when their only job is to be, and not do anything, or to do it quietly?

They probably got “punished”, so their parent could get a little noise-free time on their own.

What would quiet time look like for you?

Setting It Up 

Do you need a special space, special lighting, noise level, or stimulus to create an environment that can help you get ready for sleep?

At this point, we all know how experts tell us to turn off all screens at least a half hour, to an hour, before we expect to go to sleep.

Have you tried it? How did “no screen time before bed” work for you?

For me, I like to turn down the lights and keep the noise level low. I also like to feel warm and cosy.

I like my bedroom to be chilly, so I have to snuggle up in the covers.

Once my body reaches a certain temp, my eyes get heavy and it is off to sleepy land I go. 

Now staying asleep, that is another story. A story I have shared many times.

When you are training today, think of a way to create a space for pre-sleep chill-out time.

Yes, I want online training!

Grand Plans Or Simple Moments

grand-By John Kees [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Grand Plans

Grand plans can help you achieve what you did not think possible.

Seeing a possibility and wondering if it can be done.

That time before second guessing kicks in, or misgivings about taking on such an adventure.

It is exciting and brimming with potential. All the “what-if’s” are good “what-if’s”.

They have not turned the corner to “what if … it all blows up in my face!?!”

Taking on a grand plan is a way to find out what you can do. Not only the achievement, but the process of getting there.

Are you resilient? Can you make it through the grind as well as the good times?

Learning about yourself, in that moment, is a great side benefit by taking on a challenge that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Simple Moments

A simple moment is a moment where you realize that what you thought would be difficult is becoming routine.

Noticing the joy that you get from being part of a process.

Seeing the happiness in someone else’s face who is along for a journey.

Discovering that you like to do something, something that at first seemed horrible.

I loved watching people grow into loving lifting weights.

At first it is a pain because there is so much to learn.

Then it gets a to be a little more fun, as you test your strength and power over and over.

Then you become addicted to the experience and thrill of becoming stronger.

Perhaps doing a little dance when you lift more than you thought possible.

Looking at yourself in the mirror, wondering how the body reflected back lifted all that weight.

Humbling

Both grand plans and simple moments can make you feel humble.

They’re peeling away the stories you may be telling yourself and leaving you with a clear focus and view of reality.

Of course, you have to be ready to receive the message…

Jump in and give yourself a pat on the back for getting in your training today. Cheers!!