Thanksgiving and Theaters and Pepe Le Pew, Oh My!

Conditioning. 

There’s no other way to explain the rewiring of our thoughts and beliefs simply because one toe crosses the threshold of a movie theater. Our understanding of the intense benefits of proper nutrition (clear skin, shiny hair, high energy, great sleep, etc.) is no match for our conditioned response to the cinema on the big screen. And this response, for many, will be challenged within weeks from reading this piece. 

“Thanksgiving is the five biggest days of the year as far as the box office is concerned,” according to a former president of worldwide theatrical advertising and publicity for Warner Brothers, Robert G. Freidman. His informed perspective, shared in The New York Times, points out that the days surrounding, and including, Thanksgiving are magical for movie theaters. It’s that time of year when Christmas shopping doesn’t monopolize people’s time, and television isn’t the most enticing. What do people do with their time off from school and work? According to Freidman, they go to the movies in droves.

Just thinking about the movie theater transports me to the moment the poster-covered door swings open, and the pulse of the theater makes itself known.

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Osteoporosis: The Myths, The Reality, & The Flare Gun

“By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase by 310% and 240% in women, compared to rates in 1990.”
~ International Osteoporosis Foundation

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes a person’s bones weak and more likely to break. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 10 million Americans have Osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density, which places them at an increased risk for osteoporosis. The likelihood of a woman suffering from osteoporosis is greater than that of a heart attack,

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It’s What’s On The Outside That Matters

Why do we dirty a bowl with ice cream, outside of hygienic reasons, when we can create fewer dishes by eating directly out of the pint? Why do we pour chips into a plastic sandwich bag when we can take the entire bag to work and eat directly from it? 

Answer: The absence of food tells us when to stop eating, not the quantity.

Only our spoon or fingertips failing to grip remaining morsels of deliciousness make us stop eating. It’s not our stomach or our mind screaming at us to exercise proper portion control that stops our hand from searching for one more bite.

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Stop Cooking and Start Baking: The Secret to Weight Loss & Healthy Living

Grill. Pan fry. Butter steak. Reverse sear. Slow-cooked. Sous vide. Afterburner. Steak Tartare. 

Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck can prepare the same cut of steak two completely different ways and yet, the end result is still two delicious steak dinners. Everything from how long the steak cooks to how it’s seasoned is subjective. Cooking doesn’t require a recipe. A pinch of that seasoning and a dash of this one gets the job done. One doesn’t even need to be a skilled chef to work with steak for the first time. 

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Riddle Me This: If your perspective chases perfection, how do you travel further from your ideal life the longer you chase it?

What can be felt but not touched?
What makes people feel like they have nothing by suggesting others have everything?
What has been linked to divorce, suicide, poor nutrition, and mental health issues?

The answer: Pressure

Pressure to look a certain way.
Pressure to earn enough money to keep up with the Joneses.
Pressure to have the perfect marriage.
Pressure to be the perfect parent.

All this pressure is leading people astray. 

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Health’s Mistress & Society’s Permanent Resident: Holiday Parties

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Does the changing color of the autumn leaves represent death or transformation?

Does an obstacle catapult someone closer to success or further from it?

Does proper nutrition represent restrictive food choices or elevated mindfulness?

Perspective, as many have said, is everything. And there is, perhaps, no greater time to discuss perspective than the weeks preceding the holiday-eating trifecta: Halloween,

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When Autumn Awakens the Struggle

Pumpkin spice and apple cider scents spill from store door fronts. Hay wagon rides round the pumpkin patches. Stadium lights illuminate the end zones. Schools find a routine. Calendars fill with upcoming holiday gatherings. Tree leaves transform into vibrant images so close to chalk drawings that we’re afraid to touch them for fear of smudging the beauty before us. 

It’s autumn.

For some, autumn is nostalgic. Their experiences mirror those just described. But what if behind the smiling faces at the tailgating party and social media posts of families smiling for fall family photos,

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WHEN YOU MAKE ME WATCH: A Love Letter to Those Mental Illness Touches

Sometimes it’s best to skip statistics and shoot to the heart, specifically to the deepest recesses where memories hurt as much as they help. That’s where we find truth and perspective. It’s the imperfections in our lives, the pain and the struggle and the lessons learned, that are the fabric of our character and explain who we’ve become and where we intend to go. When we open up about what we’ve been through, either directly or indirectly, we find we’re more alike than different. 

In the spirit of vulnerability,

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The Missing Conversation: Suicide’s Aftermath for Those who Live

As the spotlight on National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month dims, I wrestle with one question: Where is the support for those who live?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that for every person who dies by suicide, 287 on average think about suicide but do not die. Where are the voices of those 287? Where are the safe havens and help for survivors?

Most recognize a pink awareness ribbon as support for breast cancer survivors, victims, and research.

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The Difference Between Mood & Food is One Letter

One year ago, September 2018, a mother said, “I know it’s hard, Maddie”, slid a Hershey’s chocolate under her daughter’s bedroom door, and finished with “… but I promise it’s going to get better.” Cue Maddie gently opening her door, holding her mother’s gaze, smiling, and joining her mother for presumably more chocolate.

The Hershey Company is clever. They recognize the intensity of the mood-food connection. Romantic comedies recognize it, too. The leading lady reaches for a spoon and tub of ice cream when her heart aches greatest,

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