Join me as a try to feed my family lots of Raw and Superfood. I like to write about the edible garden, exercise, and learning to love my natural expression. I am a Family Practice Physician and believe there are alternatives approaches to feeling your best.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Assertive Woman: Book Review

Upon recommendation by one of my mentors, who happens to be male, I purchased a copy of The AssertiveWoman by Stanlee Phelps and Nancy Austin. This might not be a book that my usual followers would think “I would need.” The truth is I may be comfortable asserting  myself for your birth and breastfeeding and your other medical needs, but I don’t stick up for myself very well when it comes to  finances, public speaking, negotiating, etc… I’ve certainly read books on assertiveness (ei, in the business world) and empowerment (ei, metaphysical and spiritual). This book seemed to cover just about every area I am a wimp with particular emphasis on my practical daily needs as a woman.

This book is going to make my top ten list for women. Maybe even my top 5 list. I am impressed. My smart aleck boys who are trying to meet Literature and Composition deadlines by writing book reports sarcastically asked: “If you love the book so much are you going to write a thousand-word book report?” Good idea! I decided a blog post in the style of a book report would multi-task by setting an example to my boys about what is expected of them in their book reviews, and also serve as a way to share this resource.

Looking at the cover of the book, it seemed a bit more women’s mundane work place and political rights. (You know I am about the right of women to mother their children.) The title might even be intimidating if you are a man dealing with a stubborn female. All you may “hear” is: “Let the Inner Bitch Out.” Page two, clears that up real quick. “The idea of an assertive women-- a shrew who would rise up from years of oppression and make life miserable for everyone—has been utterly discredited…. Assertiveness enriches relationships, opens doors, and strengthens bonds.” Assertiveness is not always about getting your way or about being right. It’s about being aware of consequences of our words and actions and living with our choice.
The book introduces characters: Dormat Dorrie, Aggressive Augusta, Indirect Isabel, and Assertive Allison. I want to be Allison, but I unfortunately identify most like Dormat Dorrie in most areas of my life unless you pushed my buttons and I morph into Augusta. The characters are used to show example of healthy and unhealthy dialogue in various scenarios. I hope to hear Allison’s voice speaking to me when I find myself in challenging situations.

As I was reading the book, I found myself reading out loud parts to my family (or anyone who would listen). To enlist my husband’s trust of the book, I read to him the “business chart” which was a gender neutral topic. Anything, I can find on making his business more efficient is a good thing and would win points. These two pages were about encouraging communication within your company. Better communication may lead to a bottom line. What is to not like about a simple chart identifying these points. 

It’s empowering as a business owner to have a resource to back-up some of my instincts about communication when I make decision, policies, and protocols. I don’t mean this in a bad way. The examples are going to help me move forward in the way best for everyone. Actually,  my employees are eager for me to finish my reading and share the book. I am excited that they are interested. We will all be winners!

Back to my husband… there is a chapter… blushing … on the healthy sensually-assertive women.  I read him part of that. I am not assertive enough to share exactly what I read; you are going to have to read it for yourself.  He decided, “That’s a well-worded book.”  (Yes, I know my kids are going to read this, and they can read that part of the book too.  I don’t mind if they can access resources that are constructive about intimate relationships.) As my mentor pointed out, they can learn to identify positive communication early on in relationships.

Speaking of teens, I liked the section about confronting your teens with experimental behavior. I read one of my sons some of the example dialogue. Even though I am not having any particular problems with the boys, I like making myself available for conversation on sensitive subjects before they become a problem. It potentially opens the door for further conversation, but I also learned my son has a good sense of humor in his response “a joking response about a scenario worse than I could imagine.” I want to be that mother; the one that is approachable by teens.

The book serves as a personal workbook also. There are some quizzes that are educational in-themselves creating awareness of situations that are assertive. I also made a list of activities that I would like to feel more empowered and didn’t really think of as assertive. Some items on my list are speaking up at a large conference and asking for borrowed items to be returned. Another area I found challenging is switching dentists (I know, silly), but I have moved forward with confidence with this decision this week.

I discovered I wasn’t doing too bad in all areas. Saying no to an opportunity that everyone else claims will be good for networking is being assertive. You can clone me and I could have a full-time schedule of mother/baby related activities outside the office. I can’t possibly be at every meeting, every conference, and answer every on-line discussion. Deciding the best way to participate and knowing when to say no is being assertive. Perhaps I can take it up a notch on areas that I tend to be comfortable one-on-one or with a lay audience, taking it to a larger group or professional meeting.

Having a top ten list of books for women is an excellent idea for me to put together. I’ve thought of five already. I’ll have to decide if ten is necessary or if five will do. Which do you think they are?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I am a thrill seeker!

I made a split second decision to join the boys on their grand-finale camp field trip today to the water park. I also decided I wasn't going to be a scardy-cat. I was going to suck it up and go on all the slides. No matter what.

I am glad I did. I am a thrill seeeker! (And I didn't know it).

It's a good thing I work out and do yoga. I am not sure if I could have kept up with a day of stair climbing, slides, drops, net crossing, and wave pools. I am going to be feeling some sore muscles tomorrow. But that's ok.

It was so much fun. I can't wait to go again. Why did I wait so long to go in the first place. I'll tell you this, someone named J..., had me convinced that water parks were the equivelent of diaper pisspools. And he wouldn't go. I didn't even see a baby there. You had to be 48 inches (and under 48 years old- no back pain, heart problems, etc...blah, blah, blah...). The park was so clean and so refreshing. If it hadn't been a camp field trip I may have never known what I was missing. 

So you see that blue and yellow checkered, funnel looking thing? Don't ask what happens in there. You get sloshed around a bit. But by the third time through it, I was loving it. There was a similar one that was all dark inside. See that  yellow tube twist. No doubt I was aware of the twist as I was going through it. You can see how they get the tubes back to the top mechanically.

The boys went two years ago with camp, but I didn't go then. You know what? They did everyride with me today and said I was a lot of fun! The view from the top was worth it, too.

I also liked that I got to spend some time with other camp families in such a fun environment.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Yoga- My long over-due thoughts

I have never enjoyed participation in an exercise class before, until yoga. I've enjoyed yoga far more than I ever thought. I've been going almost a year now. I didn't really know what yoga was. I made  a commitment to myself to not be a wimp in the evening after work, so I do yoga once a week, to balance three days of weight lifting, a few days of walking, and other seasonal sports. At first I started yoga to undo all the tightness caused by my weight training. I wanted to learn all the good stretches to do before my work-outs. Soon, I realized how good I felt after yoga. Sure, it was a challenge. My core sometimes feels like I've done too much (after Power yoga), but this last class, I went home feeling like every cell in my body was energized. I could feel the blood
flowing to ALL my cells. Really. It felt so detoxifying. I was looking forward to stretching tonight. Doing it on my own doesn't rally re-create the same good feeling as a structured class, but still good; Maintains it in between class.

Butterfly, has lots of variations, for me getting my hips and legs stretched in all different directions feels so refreshing. You don't even realize how tight you are until you give the simple moves a try.

I don't know why it is called pigeon, but it is really an opportunity to rest my mind as gravity takes over. I like the stretch on my hips. I like holding it.

the dreaded hamstring stretch

The dreaded hamstring stretch isn't hard for many active people. I classify myself as having poor ham string flexibility (but it's better since doing yoga). This stretch is even better than it was a few months ago. I don't like doing it. In many ways I find doing a back bend "easier" -- going in the other direction. I know most will disagree and prefer a ham stretch.
half wheel

In the past few weeks, I have noticed I could "measure" the progress more in yoga more than gains in strength training. This is what I mean. When I can bench 135 x 3 or 4 times, it is going to be a while before I can get the 5th rep or see an improvement on my one rep max. How much more do I really need to bench anyway? Same with squat. Although my 95- 100 pounds I squat, is probably just average for my size, I do go all the way down and I seemed to have plateau-ed off on gains.

What better way to work on fitness by cross-training.  I am conscious of holding that back bend as long as possible and straightening my arms. I also shift my weight from my hands to feet and feel the stretch. I am still new to yoga, so I feel improvements from week-to-week. I actually like doing the bend and the pigeon for all the good stretching and mind clearing. It seems I need all the warm-ups and prelude exercises before-hand to get in that back bend position. At first when I started yoga, I could not do a back bend. My boys would spot me and hold me up. I couldn't get my head down in pigeon when my mom first showed  me it in chatting about her class. It seems that each time, I can get my stretch a little more.  There is balance pose called crane that is still quite a challenge for me to find my balance point, but I think I am close to getting it.

I've mentioned on this blog that people with chronic pain, need to move.  Gentle yoga (hamstring stretch and butterfly) is a great place for you to start. If you tell me you can't do it (and don't have an apparent reason, like trauma and injury), I wouldn't be surprised if you have joint pain, muscle stiffness, restless legs, or whatever pain syndrome. You have to move.

I am doing Power Yoga Class at the Port Saint Lucie Civic Center on Tuesdays. Most of the classes offered are "Gentle" Yoga with Jenn Cohen ( I love her blog!) and a great place to start which is what I did. I got used to the routine and I think I have moved passed the benefits of the gentle yoga class, as I can do more complex positions (even with different options presented). I am participating in the "One" Power Yoga class the only time it is offered. Lots of options and levels are provided. Still, when I have a second, I plan on telling Jenn I need the next option in a few of the poses. Or maybe I will forget mentioning it to her. :) My instinct tells me that if I went to a Power or Flow Yoga at another gym, this particular power yoga is at an easier level. For one it is a 50 minute class, not an hour. That in itself tells me its a gentle-power yoga class. For me it has been an excellent way to ease into yoga. Don't be shy, come to yoga.

In all due respect to the gym, my son William, took the photos at Worlds Gym stretching after jog/walking tonight. It would be to disracting to me and class to have him come and bug me for photos.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Signature Style and Secondary

Well, it seems I have had no problem finding a Spring Signature style. ( As a result, I could flood you with tons of photos).

Every year as we come off of the winter months, I have always welcomed the idea of bright spring colors. I never pulled it off right. Often I just ended back in brown and black. Kind of depressing.

Thanks to Spring Trends which is Dressing Your Truths theme for April club night, I have been able to pull together outfits I feel confident in.

I have also realized my secondary energy which is type 2. Primary Type 2's define themselves as detailed, soft, and flowy.  So are their clothes. Primary 3's (me) are edgy, dynamic, and always ready to move into action (even without all the details.). My type 3 is based on my energy and physical features.  T2's tend to be lower in energy than 3's.  I finally realized my secondary is a 2 because of my sensitive nature. I am sensitive to what others need (2), it drives me into action(3). My 3/2 energy got me through school-- the desire to help others, especially moms and babies. I am also very sensitive to criticism. Likewise I am appreciative of kind words. I also realized although I have a lot of  motivation to go into action, I do not have as much energy, as Primary Type 1's or 3/1's who have A LOT of energy. I am drawn to the opposite of me 2/3's.

My spring style loves me incorporating a little 2.

My mom picked out the first top. When she saw me pair it with the capris, she asked if it was a coincidence that I had them or were they new. With DYT everything matches.I could switch pants shown in both outfits and wear them with the top in the other photo and have two more great looks. Did I mention, the potential to combine tops/bottoms and layers and accessories? I don't get stuck wearing "outfits". I can constantly create new looks because everything matches.

Being in Florida, I never really had seasonal clothes. I did put away my cords. It is really nice to have seasonal variety.

If you are thinking this is a program for doctors, it is not. (Most doctors need it though.)

If you are thinking you do not have the money, there is often sales on the program and many tips for spending at thrifts and doing it yourself. I am glad to finally get it right. I am glad to have clothes that I will enjoy wearing over and over. I am glad my clothes can easily transition from work clothes to weekend style.

If you think you have to wear "heavy" colors like me, you don't. That's the point to find your type and eventually your secondary. Type 1 colors make me look like a clown. But Type 1's like how youthful they feel in their colors. Type 2's colors make me feel bland, but look pretty and romantic on 2's. Type 4 colors are heavy on me, but look stunning on the right person.

If you think you have to wear wide belts and chains and big pendants, you will likely want to if your a 3. But your metal might be silver or shiny gold, light and airy, delicate, or bold. Trust me you will want to accessorize. In the upper photo, I learned how to wear a skinny belt. :)

You don't have to wear make-up. But now that I know most make-up on the market is in another types colors (and why it looked stupid on me), I can wear make-up naturally.

As you can see I am enjoying this program.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In Dressing Your Truth they call it "Signature Style"

I enjoyed looking over the recent post and photos on this blog. I am realizing how far I have come with Dress Your Truth. I used to have no idea what to wear. I stressed over finding special occasion clothes. Only to realize when I saw photos of me at the event, I look ridiculous. I bought this skirt to speak at a LLL meeting years ago. I paired it with a shimmery black neck top. Afterwards, when I saw photos of the event I was disgusted with how my new clothes really looked (of course, dark lighting, conference room, spontaneous photos... all to partly blame, right?). I saw then that black looked terrible on me. I spent hours in the dressing room and essentially I failed. It's easy to get overwhelmed with so many choices. I had no idea what to get. I settled on the skirt because it was October and it was fall colors and I figured that I can't go wrong with a black top.  And the deadline was approaching. I hated dressing rooms and wanted to be done.

I am glad someone took photos of the occasion. Way back, it was a part of my journey, even before I was consciously on it. I look back at some photos of me. Photos I like from before DYT, I happen to be wearing the right color, lucked out with a hair style, or caught myself at the right angle (but until now I had no idea what it was that worked in the photo). Taking photos is part of the DYT journey. I'll bet, that many people who think they are not photogenic, if they wore clothes that support there physical features, they would be photogenic.). It seems kind of conceited to take photos of "me" for my blog, but that's why I take the photos, so I can see what's working for me.

Paired with earthy browns and coral on top, a double breasted coat with the right textured, accessories the skirt from 4 years ago does me right. In Dress Your Truth Forums, they would say, "I found my signature style!"

As egocentric and materialist as it may seem to be concerned with fashion. It is a relief off of my mind that I no longer have to stress about what to wear. It's because I understand my inner energy that I know what my signature style is. An outwardly expression of who I am and not what a fashion designer wants me to be. I can show up to events confident. I can go on to more important things and not be held back by the dressing room. It is easy for me to know what to bi-pass in the store and focus on the edgy, angular, asymmetric substantial styles (and look put together) that support my body language and physical features. I repeat, support me and my physical features.

Since I have last posted my sister has joined this journey and we each have a really, really good friend that joined us in DYT. By understanding my sister and friends it is beneficial to us all in getting along and in teamwork. My friends look good in soft, flowy things. Styles that don't work well for me. My sister and I can fill a google shopping cart quickly with the right stuff and never step into a store.

Finding my signature style was tricky. Perhaps I'll share more photos. Now that it is going to be above 85 degrees for the next 6 months, my next challenge will be to adapt my signature style to hot-weathered clothes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Asymetric haircut...I did it!

I cut my hair... Only the left side. It's kind of messy and windblown in this photo. But it's the best I've got. You can't really see it in the photos below(brown jacket and pajamas). I've been trying to take a photo to show you. I wore my hair this way a  long time ago. I liked it. I've been wanting to do it again. It wasn't hard to get used to. It feels natural. The left side looked thin and frail. It was no loss cutting it off.

John hates it. But that's him. And he's the reason I hadn't done it sooner. I'd like to keep it this way for a while.

It was really windy at the Ft. Pierce Inlet. So one chance to wear this cord jacket from Chadwicks. Earrings from amazon that  the ladies in the DYT forum directed me to. and an autumn red T with a DYT necklace.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Scott asked me to get him these toed shoes. I told him that they are ugly. He said "clogs" are ugly. I guess it's all perspective, right? (Crocks are even uglier.)

Scott asked me to run with him. I decided to give it a try.  First day
warm up walking
1/4 mile run huffing and puffing (but no chest pain)
1/4 walk recovering

1/4 run h-ing & p-ing
1/4 walk recovering

1/8 run. 1/8 walk- 1/8 run. 1/8 walk
1/8 run. 1/8 walk- 1/8 run. 1/8 walk
did this to total a mile run/ a mile walk/ total 2 miles.
walk to cool down.

Note-when I say run, I mean something like a shuffle that barely resembles moving forward. During our activity Scott observed that some people run, but they walk when the onlookers go by. In my case, I was glad for the passer-bys to pass by during the walking part. It's really that bad. My thighs feel like I am picking up 2 tons with each step. They barely lift. I knew I looked silly.

Scott really wants me to do this every day with him this week just to see how we feel at the end of the trial.

That was Sunday. On Monday I was sore up to my shoulders! Shoulders! I thought I did stronglifts and yoga. I wouldn't think my entire body would hurt. Running is a lower body sport-guess I was wrong. As flat as Florida is, our course has a little tilt to it. A tilt that is very noticeable to an unfit person. I suppose that's my excuse for sore shoulders--trying to hold my torso up.

Sunday was the first day, Monday after work/gym we did it again. Again on Tuesday after work/yoga. Again on Wednesday before work and gym. BTW on Wed my highest sets Deadlift 160 1 set x 5 reps. and Overhead pressed 60 1x5.

On Thursday (today) was the day Scott dragged me to get his Vibram 5 fingers.  As you guessed, those green things are MINE!

We did
1/4 run -1/4 walk
1/4 run -1/4 walk
1/4 run -1/4 walk
1/4 run -1/4 walk
1/4 run -1/4 walk

Some improvement!!

It was like running in lightweight slippers! My thighs didn't feel so heavy. My strides were a tiny bit longer. Scott and I noticed I was running faster. I wasn't huffing and puffing and today I wasn't sore like the earlier days. Perhaps my ankles or feet will be sore tomorrow. I felt like my foot muscles gripped more and had to stabilize me.

I didn't schedule a marathon or Mud Warrior Race or Komen Cure run or anything like that.

That's it. A boring post. Just a trial of running or shuffling/ whatever you want to call it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Squat- 100 5 x5
Bench- 95   3x3
           125  3x3
           135  3x3 (!)
           145  1x1 (!)
Row     85   3x3

Lots of warm up reps as at lower weights and de-load reps.

DYT- scarf from DYT store ( I get to wear that a lot, not)
          purple shirt from Chrisopher & Banks
          jacket from JCpennies.
          old purse from Steinmart
          new color and cut
John hates haircut and all.

DYT houseclothes- I bought one of these tanks and I love it and got more. I wear 'em around the house and to the gym and anytime I am hot (as in temperature).  Probably doesn't look it in the photo, but it matches the color guide. Found the sleep pants at JCPennies.

On another note--- Good thing, that I have an 8 year old, so I know what a rick roll is on youtube!!!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Some More (Typical Boring Family) Cozumel and Cruise Photos

David with the Dragon.
William leaving Miami.
William looks more Mayan to me.
John leaving Port.
See the helicopter pad. David is sitting in the Captain's Bridge.
All decked out for Captains Night.
It is hard to get John to smile.
This is in Japan. No it's really Epcot. 
My family didn't want to be bothered with photos that day, so it's the only Epcot photo we took.
More, leaving the Port.
The turkey coop.
Finally a smile and some willingness.
You can walk out and have some quality Scuba from right here. No certification needed.
There was Hanukkah Candle Lighting in the Cruise Cinema. It was a very lovely service. 
 Self explanatory-David on a a Donkey.
 In our stateroom.
If you look closely the ship is in the background.

Ha ha. 

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