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Archive for category: Solutions For Living

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Reap What You Sow All Summer Long

Thinking of starting your own vegetable garden?  Gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature while reaping many health benefits.  Growing your own food can also be beneficial due to: cost savings, the promotion of eco-friendly activities, allowing you to connect with nature, educational opportunities and many more!  The following article by Readers Digest provides easy tips on how to start your own vegetable garden and reap the benefits your harvest will bring.

Readers Digest: Grow Your Own Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs

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Make The Most of Your Weekend

Are you weekends filled with countless errands and projects?  Do you make time for fun activities?  The following article from Readers Digest discusses how you can plan ahead to ensure you and your family get more out of your weekends and give ideas for easy ways to add some fun to your summer.  The activities are fun, strengthen family relationships, and will help keep you and your family active and healthy.

Reader’s Digest: 9 Tips for Active Weekends

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Want Feedback? Ask for it!

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

McMaster University’s Occupational Therapy program was very much grounded in the concept of feedback.  While sometimes contrived, and definitely awkward, giving and receiving feedback is an essential skill in relationships, parenting, work and school.

Recently I was in one of my MBA classes and the professor circulated feedback forms to the class asking for our input on how the course was going.  In my many years of university, I have never had a professor ask for feedback during the course.  Usually the instructor evaluation forms are circulated at the end, when a) the feedback does not directly benefit the people that provide it (the class is over anyway), and b) the students never know if their feedback has value or elicits change.

In the case of this particular class, the professor, at the start of the following lecture, summarized the feedback he received.  He commented on what people liked and did not like about the class so far and told us how he was going to adjust his sails to meet the needs of his audience.  Brilliant.

Reflecting on this reminded me of the recent times when I have asked for feedback and benefited from the outcome.  At home, we engaged in a Stop, Start, Continue exercise with our four daughters.  We all had six pieces of paper with our own, and each other’s, names at the top.  Our job was to comment on what we felt that we each needed to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing in our own mind, and then also for each other.  Basically, we were giving and receiving feedback on our skills as mom, dad, daughter or sister.  The result was amazing.  The kids took the exercise seriously and we all learned more about ourselves through the eyes of the people closest to us.   It was a valuable exercise for them and us, and something we will continue to do going forward.

At work, I also asked for feedback from colleagues, clients and customers.  I circulated a questionnaire via email that allowed people to anonymously let me know how I was performing in my job.  Then, I also engaged in a self-initiated 360 review that provided those closest to me the opportunity to highlight, from their perspective, my personal strengths and weaknesses.

Why is feedback so important to me?  I am not as much interested in ensuring I am living up to the expectations of others, as I am interested in ensuring I am not naïve to my own faults.  It is always easier to see the faults in others and yet how often do we really reflect on our own skills?  I believe that the path to achieving my personal best involves understanding myself through my eyes and the eyes of those around me.  So, if you want feedback, just ask for it!   How is my blog by the way?

 

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The Best Picks From Your Local Farmer’s Market

Summer has officially begun and fresh fruits and vegetables are a plenty.  Why not join the “eat local” food movement!  A great way to spend a summer day is to visit a local farm or farmers market and take in some of the healthy fresh items the season has to offer.  The following article from Health.com will help you decide the best things to purchase from your local farmers market.

Health.com: The Healthiest Farmers Market Food Picks

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Summer Health Hazards

 

Summer is here!  Tis the season to head outside, exercise, hit the beach and enjoy all that the warmer months have to offer.  However, despite all the good things summer has to offer, there are many health dangers lurking behind the scenes such as insect bites, food borne illnesses, over-heating, sun exposure and many more.  The following article by Health Magazine will make you aware of these hazards and learn how to avoid and overcome them.

Health Magazine: “Beat the Top Summer Health Hazards”

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O’ Canada

“There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people.” – Sir Winston Churchill

I love this country.  In Canada we are polite and apologize for everything.  We have beautiful seasons that give us plenty of opportunity to be outdoors.  We leave our doors and cars unlocked because we trust each other.  We have gun laws and want it that way.  We let people live how they want, love how they want, dress how they want, and be who they are.  We appreciate cultural and religious diversity.  We have great health care and strong educational institutions.  Are we perfect? Nope.  But nothing is and complaining without action will get us nowhere.  As a fellow Canadian I encourage others in this great country to solve problems, get involved, pay it forward, advocate, speak out, and live with integrity.   If everyone could everyday do one nice thing for this country, or the people in it, we will all be better off.  Pick up a piece of garbage, help a neighbor, donate blood, support a charity, donate time to a worthy cause, or just make someone smile.  It all helps.  Happy Canada Day!

 

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Optimism and Your Health

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?  Did you know how you interpret this can affect your overall health?  A new study, published in the Psychological Science Journal, finds that having a positive outlook on life can be as good for your health as a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.  Always seeing the glass half-empty?  Turn that frown upside down and attempt to see the good in every situation.

Shine: Positive outlook and friends may be as good for you as diet and exercise, claims study

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How Do You Get Your 8 Glasses A Day?

There are many new products that can help you get your 8 glasses per day, however, many are full of sugars, sodium and unnecessary calories.  Are you making the right choices?  This interesting article by Rodale Wellness discusses the new trend in “fancy” fortified water beverages and helps you decide which are worth the extra money and which are just empty calories.

Rodale Wellness: 10 “Fancy” Waters You Shouldn’t Drink