19 July 2014

There's something your sweetener isn't telling you


Below is an excerpt from an article by NP Marcelle Pick. The full article can be found here. It is informative and terrifying - definitely worth a read. Maybe one Splenda every few months won't do any harm but chances are, if you're reading this, you consume WAY more. After I learned about some of the side effects, including anxiety, I vowed not to have it knowingly again. The sweet stuff is a slippery slope, see below for more eye opening information.

Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms.

While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt — and most pesticides are chlorocarbons. The premise offered next is that just because something contains chlorine doesn’t guarantee that it’s toxic. And that is also true, but you and your family may prefer not to serve as test subjects for the latest post-market artificial sweetener experiment — however “unique".


I'm going to try to relearn what tea, coffee and yogurt tastes like without sweetener. They are not supposed to be sweet and actually taste better, creamier and richer in their natural state. If I am craving sweets, I'll have an apple or a banana. I'm going to try to stop taking food that is not meant to be sweet and try to transform it into something that isn't. The damage to your taste buds is reversible, but they may still never forgive you

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Original article posted here. Copyright 2014.

18 July 2014

Leading Teams


Leading teams. These two words that have the power to excite or evoke fear in someone's heart.

Let's look at the word "lead." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the various definitions include "to guide on a way especially by going in advance" or "to direct on a course or in a direction." Based on this, if we are business owners, we ARE leaders. It is our responsibility to guide and direct our team. The problem is that many aren't sure exactly how to lead a team, and it becomes a "trial and error" effort. This is counter-productive when we want to be focused on building a strong business. Becoming an effective leader of a team takes time, so lets explore 3 big keys that can be immediately implemented.

Be a Role Model. Your team is only going to move as fast as you do. It's up to you to set the pace and articulate the expectations. You never want to ask your team to do something that you aren't willing to do yourself.

Stay focused on the growth of your business and allow others to watch how you accomplish it. However I must say that you should never insist that someone runs his or her own business in a certain manner. While it's your job to be a role model, it's your team's job to decide whether or not your method is a good fit for them...and it may not be. Do NOT be offended if that's the case as we are all individuals.

As a role model, it's also important that you don't freely give away all of your knowledge acquired by your continued learning. Your knowledge is very valuable, but it's important that your team members put "skin in the game" if they are going to be successful in their own right.

Set boundaries.  Oh boy...I could write a book on this one area alone and fill it with mistakes that I've personally made and lessons that I've learned. Remember as you lead your team, you are also teaching them how to potentially lead theirs. Don't take this lightly. You have the ability to pass along great habits or habits that will leave them feeling as though they're in bondage. It is entirely possible to have a successful business and a successful life, but only if you set boundaries along with work hours.

You cannot and should not make yourself available to your team 24/7...regardless of what others teach. It's a sure-fire way to lead to burnout. Repeat after me: One-to-many. One-to-Many. ONE-TO-MANY! What does this model mean? It means that you no longer communicate with individuals via text or private email. It means that you no longer have an open-door policy for receiving phone calls.

So if you are accustomed to the one-to-one model, how do you transition away from it? It's actually rather simple. When you need to communicate with your team, you do it in a Facebook group. When someone has a question and emails you, you graciously tell them to post it in your Facebook group so everyone can benefit from the answer. When you have something that you need to talk about, utilize a video or have a group call that you record. If people aren't used to this method, they may not be happy at first, but I promise that they will adapt if you are consistent with your boundaries.

Be careful not to manage.  There is a difference between leading and managing. To lead is to have followers. To manage means that you have subordinates who do what they are told and you check up on them. You want to groom powerful leaders who can help change peoples lives, all while building their business and ultimately yours! Telling people what to do is not inspirational and creates dependency. I consider it the adult equivalent to breast-feeding. Instead give them the tools and point them to the resources, but allow people to be individuals and make their own decisions. Allow them to make mistakes and figure things out. A great book on this very subject is Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell. I definitely recommend it.

In short, by holding yourself to your own standards and expectations of others, you will become a great leader. By being a role model, setting boundaries, and not managing others, you'll find freedom in leading. Ultimately your leadership will result in others going on to lead as well. Trust me when I say, there is nothing more satisfying than birthing a leader and watching that person go on to birth their own.

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Article originally posted here. Copyright 2014.

17 July 2014

Flex your self-control Muscles


A Gallup poll found 51% of adults want to lose weight. Less than half that number, only 25%, are actively and seriously working toward that goal. One weight-loss coach wrote on the Huffington Post, "One of the many excuses I hear for why people don't lose weight is 'It's too expensive.'"

Do you have a weight loss goal? There is a pretty high probability that either you or someone you are very close to has a "goal" weight. Even if you don't, I want you to keep reading with me because this advice applies to every addiction or bad habit you might be trying to work on eliminating from your life.

The reality is, if you keep doing what you've always done, you will get the same result you've always had. You and I live in a culture of excess, and if you keep living in excess you will keep having to go up a notch on your belt, friend.

What I want you to understand is that your cravings are a muscle. When you feed your food cravings, shopping addiction, porn addiction or any other craving, you're flexing that muscle. The more you feed and exercise that muscle, the stronger those cravings will be. Some of you have had decades of working out that craving muscle.

In the same way, self-control is a muscle. If you flex and work on that muscle, it will grow stronger and your cravings will grow weaker.

So here's the thing I want you to think about. Identify your food habit, or whatever it is you are trying to cut back on. Track how often you eat out, grab a snack, make a Starbucks run or have a midnight dessert. Instead of trying to cut out 100% overnight, try to cut out just one of those indulgences.

In other words, just cut out those midnight trips to the freezer. After a week or two of that, try to cut out the Starbucks run on top of that. Just work on cutting back your food or calorie intake by 5% or 10% at a time.

When you try to go cold turkey you are setting yourself up for failure. That decade of poor eating habits is not going to change overnight. Those cravings are at their peak, the strongest they have ever been. And when you almost inevitably fail, you feel helpless or like it will never work.

Reaching your personal goals is about two major things:

1. Knowing yourself. Know your body, your habits and your spending habits. When you know your greatest weaknesses and strengths, you can help steer yourself away from those sore spots!

2. Giving yourself grace. You will fail! Just work on getting a little better slowly and flexing that self-control muscle.

I hope this quick message encouraged you today. When you are working on a weakness or trying to improve a habit, it takes time, support and accountability. If you aren't willing to be held accountable, you don't really want to change.

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Article originally posted here. Copyright 2014.