Tweets of the Week: Recipes, Cooking, Health, Nature & More

Week of June 14, 2015

twitter-bird-3Saturday is a good day to recap the activity from our Twitter feed from the past week. Not sure what Twitter is all about? That’s OK. Neither are we (or at least it remains somewhat mysterious to us). There is no denying, however, that there is some very valuable information shared on Twitter. That is what this weekly feature is all about. Click the links below to check out the good stuff. Here are my Top Tweets from this past week, great for retweeting (whatever that is). If you missed these, follow Forward Story on Twitter.

By the way, if you are wondering what the @ and # signs are all about, these are Twitter’s way to identify the Twitter handle (@) for the person who tweeted (for example, ours is @forward_story) and to allow for an indexing or categorization of the tweet by using one or more hashtags (#). Feel free to ignore these and just follow the link for the content we are sharing with you.

Here are a few recipes from people we trust:

Danielle Walker ‏@againstallgrain Cashew Milk Recipe #paleo #glutenfree #againstallgrain http://grainfree.ly/1Iz2v4V

Civilized Caveman ‏@CookingCaveman Fluffy Blueberry pancakes that are going to change your life. http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/recipes/breakfast/gluten-free-pancakes/

Maria Emmerich ‏@MariaEmmerich Sunflower Seed Crackers http://buff.ly/1SmO99w #LCHF #keto #lowcarb

JJ Virgin ‏@jjvirgin Add a dash of #lemon juice, a pinch of #salt, and some #seasoning to your EVOO for the perfect #salad #dressing. RT

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Cooking

Mark Hyman, M.D. ‏@markhymanmd Take back your kitchen & embrace the act of cooking #realfood. http://buff.ly/1GLoIuh

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 Some great information related to health:

Experience Life ‏@ExperienceLife Full-Spectrum Eating: 5 Tips for getting more Phytonutrients from @fxmed http://j.mp/1AnP0zI #nutrition #health #phytonutrients

Sara Gottfried, MD ‏@DrGottfried Morning Yoga Time It’s almost the weekend… Dr’s orders: Try to do this neck release 8x per day — it helps so… http://fb.me/7ltP3srhC

Health Wire ‏@MyHealthWire The “Fab Five” of Fermented Foods @CavemanDoctor http://www.myhealthwire.com/news/diet-nutrition/1079/ #probiotics

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We all need recreation and nature

Michael Hyatt ‏@MichaelHyatt Today’s New Post: 9 Reasons You Need More Fishing in Your Life. Read here: http://mhyatt.us/1IololA

My aunt, Susan Adcox, discusses Nature Deficit: Susan Adcox ‏@grandparent I’m a podcaster! Listen to my advice for grandparents about giving advice @RoundAboutChat: http://traffic.libsyn.com/parentingroundabout/PR_Round3_052015.mp3

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Learn to Program

Khan Academy ‏@khanacademy Learn programming with us in our #SummerOfScripting. We’ll send you weekly emails & contests! http://khan.co/1Ty3uWe

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Books to make your summer more entertaining and enlightening

10 weird but wonderful book recommendations from the super successful by @entrylevelrebel http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/10-weird-but-wonderful-book-recommendations-from-the-super-successful.html via @Inc

Tweets of the Week: Recipes, Exercise, & Family

Week of May 31, 2015

twitter-bird-2Saturday is a good day to recap the activity from our Twitter feed from the past week. Not sure what Twitter is all about? That’s OK. Neither are we (or at least it remains somewhat mysterious to us). There is no denying, however, that there is some very valuable information shared on Twitter. That is what this weekly feature is all about. Click the links below to check out the good stuff. Here are my Top Tweets from this past week, great for retweeting (whatever that is). If you missed these, follow Forward Story on Twitter.

Here are a couple of recipes from people we trust:

From Gourmet Girl – Happy National Donut Day! (Entirely lowcarb and glutenfree, of course.) http://www.gourmetgirlcooks.com/2015/05/did-somebody-say-donuts-make-your.html

From Slim Palate – Blackberry Pie Bars http://slimpalate.com/blackberry-pie-bars/

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 Some great information related to health:

From Dr. Colin Champ – (This is a link to scientific article) Obese children have different bowel bacteria: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2431/15/64

Another from Dr. Colin Champ – Seven Steps to a Perfect Night’s Sleep:

http://www.cavemandoctor.com/2015/05/28/seven-steps-to-a-perfect-nights-sleep/

From Dr. David Perlmutter – Do you really want to leave your chance of dementia to the flip of a coin? Here’s how to beat the odds. http://bit.ly/1AS6Pct

From The University of Texas – Six Tips for Staying Sharp http://news.utexas.edu/2015/05/11/six-tips-for-staying-sharp

From Mark Sisson – The Myth of Perfect Conditions: 9 Common Excuses Used to Delay Exercise http://ow.ly/NMkYC

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 Seth Godin is always thought-provoking:

Seth’s Blog: The critic as an amateur hack

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/06/the-critic-as-an-amateur-hack.html

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Family and Parenting / Grandparenting

Here is an article from Susan Adcox for Grandarents – Give Grandchildren the Gift of a Special Experience http://grandparents.about.com/od/Gifts-to-Give-to-Grandchildren/fl/Give-Grandchildren-the-Gift-of-a-Special-Experience.htm

From Amy Morin – Yes, you want to protect your child, but kids really need to experience these 7 uncomfortable emotions:
http://discipline.about.com/od/teachingnewskills/fl/7-Uncomfortable-Emotions-You-Need-to-Allow-Your-Child-to-Experience.htm

4 Reasons You Should Play

© Roys | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Roys | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

I have a confession to make. As much as I believe what I am about to write,  I have trouble with it. From an early age I learned responsibility and felt the weight of it. I derive joy from getting things accomplished and being “successful.” The best way I know to take care of all these things is to work hard and to work well.

The problem is that I often forget to stop working and to just play. If you don’t believe me, ask my kids. In my previous post I suggested that writing and living out your Forward Story is compatible with having fun. But what is play? Why is it fun? Why is this important to us?

What we are interested in here is the action of play. Since verbs indicate action, what does the verb “play” suggest? From dictionary.com I see four definitions that fit the idea here. To play is:

  • to exercise or employ oneself in diversion, amusement, or recreation.
  • to do something in sport that is not to be taken seriously.
  • to amuse oneself; toy; trifle.
  • to take part or engage in a game.

Play does not have to be confined to physical activity like running, throwing, or jumping. It may include all of those, but it can also include doing things like playing a musical instrument, painting, sculpting, or even just reading a book or listening to music. These all fit “diversion, amusement, or recreation.”

It is valuable to play and to have fun. This is part of life. If you are always on your way to somewhere else, what is the point of life? Here are 4 reasons you should play.

1. To Relieve the Stress of Life. There was a time in my life that I was skeptical about stress. What I mean is that I wasn’t sure that it was real. Or, if was real I was annoyed by modern people complaining about stress given that life on the frontier a couple of hundred years ago must have been a lot more stressful. It seemed like a lot of whining to me. However, I was finally convinced of its reality by experiencing it in my own life.

What is stress? It is a condition where your brain responds to a situation by producing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to heighten your ability to respond effectively. I was on a business trip yesterday driving on a busy interstate highway. I signaled to change from the right lane to the center lane. After checking my mirrors I began to change lanes. As I was completing my lane change I heard an angry horn honking and looked in my rear-view mirror to see anther vehicle on my tail and the driver clearly annoyed with me. He had switched from the left lane to the center lane at a high rate of speed at about the same time I moved into that lane. This whole event jolted me out of my mindless driving into a danger mode. I felt the change in my body. My muscles were tensed and ready to respond. My heart-rate increased. I was in a heightened mental state. I began breathing faster. This stress response is referred to as “fight or flight.” We are wired to respond to dangerous situations via this stress response. If a tiger is chasing you, you have to act now. You have to either fight him or run away. The stress response can help keep you alive.

However, prolonged and chronic stress has been proven to have negative health consequences. You may experience stress over a period of time from your job, from losing your job, from taking care of a sick family member, or in a multitude of other ways. Engaging in play reduces and relieves that stress. By throwing a football, taking a walk, or even just listening to a great piece of music, we can reduce stress and chase those hormones back to the place where we can use them in the future.

Before I leave the subject of stress, I want to share a technique that I began using a couple of months ago to relieve stress and to put myself into a very calm state. It is so simple that you may not believe it, but I encourage you to try it. I do this every night now while in bed before I go to sleep. Here is the technique:

  • Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds (or longer) into your belly, not your chest. You should actually be able to feel your belly inflating.
  • Hold the breath for one second.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth. Your belly will deflate.
  • Repeat this 8 times.

2. To Connect With Your Body. A hundred years ago most people in America worked on a farm. The day began when the sun rose and included milking cows, gathering eggs, feeding livestock, and many other chores that required physical labor. The day pretty much ended when the sun set. Much of what happened between sunrise and sunset required physical exertion. Today many of us live in urban settings and do work that requires sitting, talking, typing, and meetings. The pinnacle of physical activity for some of us is the walk from our desk to the coffee pot.

© Arturdent | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Arturdent | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Most forms of play allow us to engage our bodies in a way that reduces stress and feels good to us. A long walk with my wife is great because not only do we get to talk and “debrief” about life, but we feel movement, use our balance, raise our heart-rates, and strengthen our muscles and bones. It is all good. Plus, it is just fun. Swinging a tennis racket is something I enjoy and that connects my mind with my body. Other activities I enjoy include disc golf and skiing. You have your own forms of play that allow you to connect your body and mind.

Again, not all play involves overt physical activity. Playing a board game with your friends or your kids has a positive effect on your life as well.

3. To Express Your Creativity and Artistry. Play, as I am defining it, includes creative endeavors like painting, playing music, writing, and many other disciplines. When we do these things we often derive pleasure and a sense of purpose about our lives. Those activities are ends in themselves. We do them because they are fun and are an expression of something deep inside of us, not because they advance our agenda or have a direct effect on our future. I believe that each of us has a creative side that longs for expression. If you have not found yours yet, I hope you will. Don’t be afraid to try some of these artistic endeavors to see what you enjoy and where you can find expression.

4. To Appreciate Beauty. We live in a world with some dark realities. All you have to do is watch your evening news to be convinced. In a world with so much negative input, it is important for us to also appreciate the beauty in life. As I have gotten older I have started appreciating nature a lot more. I have always loved natural beauty like mountains and sunsets, but now I notice the birds, the insects, and the changing of the seasons. Again, these are all things that rural farm people live with every day. In cities we have to work a little harder to see and appreciate natural beauty in the midst of a man-made world of concrete and steel. It can definitely be done, though. One way I connect with nature is by planting seeds and learning to garden. I am a novice at this, but the wonder of beauty and nature are now on my patio in containers. Beauty also exists in music and art. We said earlier that play can connect you to your own inner artist. Appreciating beauty in the arts allows you to benefit from the artistry and creativity of others. I love great music and great literature (including a growing interest in poetry).

Conclusion

Play is one of the realms of life that I include in my Forward Story. It is so important to me now that I plan for it in each different time period of my life. I believe you should, too. If you do not plan for it and make it a priority, you will likely do way too little of it.

I would love to know what kinds of play you engage in and what it does for you. Please let me know in the comments below.

Won’t a Forward Story Remove the Fun in Life?

© Jeu | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Jeu | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

The basic premise of this blog is that it is important to have an effective plan for your future, which I call a Forward Story. Other people refer to it as a life plan or a mission statement.

An excellent question is whether having your own Forward Story will ruin the fun, spontaneity, and excitement in life.

People who are so rigid in their planning for the future that they cannot enjoy life have something seriously wrong with their approach. Can you imagine writing a mission statement like this?

My purpose in life is to do only those things and have only those experiences that I have determined beforehand to do. I will not engage in any activity outside of what I have specifically planned to do.

Two Extremes

There are two extremes:

  • No plans and maximum fun
  • No fun and maximum plans

Can we agree that neither of these extremes is how we want to live?

I do think that the idea of a detailed Forward Story and the idea of complete spontaneity must compete with one another.

You may be a person that is free-spirited and doesn’t really believe in much planning for the future or envisioning what is possible. Perhaps you just live for the moment and believe that to do planning will either ruin the fun in life or will be a waste of time because what is going to happen is going to happen anyway. To you I would say that you can preserve the spontaneity and fun in life while still creating a Forward Story that will provide direction and meaning.

On the other hand, you may be a person that is organized, regimented, and future-oriented. To you spontaneous experiences are simply not on the schedule so should be avoided. To you I would say that you can write a meaningful Forward Story that builds in space and openness to adventure, fun, and spontaneity.

There is a reason that we all know the sayings:

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

and

You must stop and smell the roses.

I have to admit that some of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had were at times when something unexpected and off-schedule happened. Let’s face it, an important part of the human experience is actually experiencing it. Are you really alive if you can’t feel the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair? Far from detracting from your Forward Story, these experiences simply add value to your life. There is nothing incompatible about having a plan and having fun. In fact, I think a great part of a Forward Story is to include a plan to have fun. This is the part of the story that I refer to as the realm of play. You know, the kind of play that Jack should really open up to.

In our next article we will talk a little more about “play” that prevents Jack’s dullness.