Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Delicious Breakfast

This is a  photo of my delicious breakfast from Friday

Plain Dannon Yogurt
Grape Nuts

Look at those beautiful numbers on that nutrition label above! 

With my that breakfast concoction I threw together I got 15g of Protein, 7g of Fiber, 12% of my Vitamin A requirement, 58% of my Vitamin C requirement, 42% of my Calcium requirement, and 34% of my Iron requirement!

So, tell me, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

How much of each of the recommended daily requirements did your breakfast fulfill?

If you are like I was 7+ months ago, you can probably answer the first question pretty easily, but have no clue how to answer the second question.  I would say if you asked most Americans those two questions the case would be the same:

First question - no problem!
Second question - "HUH? Recommend daily what?"

Well, I know where you can find a whole group of (mostly) Americans that could answer both questions with certainty!  They could also tell you how much sodium, fat and carbs they've had for the day.  They know every day if they've met their recommend daily allowances of Vitamins A & C, Protein, Calcium & Iron too!

You ask, "Where are these people, Garcia?  Are they on some crazy, nutritional, commune somewhere?"

Nope, they are right here on the World Wide Web at Nutrimirror
My own personal journey to better health began on August 7, 2009. I decided I was going to start logging my food online to keep better track of my calorie intake. I happened upon a free online food journal called Nutrimirror® and I've been there ever since! So far I've lost 37 lbs and I have been eating healthier than I probably ever had in my entire life!

Nutrimirror® is so much more than "just a food journal" though, it's a community of very caring and loyal users who support each other. It is is a simple tool that lets the individual play the central role in meeting personal health goals. Some of the people who use the site are there to lose weight, other to gain and still other to maintain. No matter what your individual nutrition goal is Nutrimirror can help you meet it!

The Nutrimirror® system is accurate and user friendly — easy to understand, easy to navigate. In fact, once you've become familiar with the system's interface and tools, you should spend no more than ten to twenty minutes of logging each day to get all the information you need to successfully manage your weight and nutritional balance.

Nutrimirror® can be used to lose, gain or simply maintain your weight. When you focus on feeding your body properly you can reap the benefits of achieving your optimum weight, but more importantly, you can improve your health! I really can't say enough good things about this excellent tool and the wonderful people who have brought it to us.

Important Note: Ask Garcia does not receive any endorsement compensation from Nutrimirror® for shamelessly promoting their website all over her blog... she just loves them so much because of all she has received from using their wonderful, free website she wants to return the favor and point others in their direction so they can begin their own journey to better health too!


The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen!): Hiding Healthy Foods in Hearty Meals Any Guy Will Love

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Procrastination Exasperation

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.  ~William James

I will admit it, I am a first class procrastinator of the worst kind!

Mark Twain once said, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

Now that's a motto I can get behind!  

My husband finally bribed me with the promise of a facial and a massage if I would just please make the appointment to get our taxes done.  Well, I have to say, he found a good motivator for me! It's worked! Taxes done! Whew! And did that feel like a load off of my shoulders as we walked out of the tax preparation office today.

Why do we procrastinate?  Especially those tasks that are inevitable?

I think I need to examine why I procrastinate: Am I afraid of failing at the task? Am I a perfectionist and only willing to begin working after every little element is in place? Am I easily distracted? 

Hmmmm.... well honestly I'm a little of each of those.

Do you procrastinate?  Or, have you overcome this bad habit? 

I'd love to hear back from you!  Stories of procrastination, tips to help overcome procrastination.... it's your turn to talk now!

Click on the comment link below this post and let me hear back from you!

Ok.. I have to go now, I've been procrastinating and need to get things done!

The Procrastinator's Guide to Getting Things DoneThe Procrastinator's Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It NowProcrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It NowThe Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play The Complete Idiot's Guide to Overcoming Procrastination I Will Conquer My Procrastination Problem Subject T-Shirt, L - Grey

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Matter of Perception

The following story illustrates that life is clearly a matter of perception:

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.  They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad!"

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yes!" replied the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered,  "I saw that we have one dog and they had four.  We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.  We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.  Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.  We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.  We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy’s father was speechless. 

Then his son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are."

This wise young man saw clearly what his father apparently did not that his own family was in fact the truly "poor" people.

Life is really a matter of perception. It is what we choose to see and what choose to make of it.

Yesterday, while I was on a popular social networking website, I saw a "status" posted by a young man recounting some of the events which have occured his life so far this year:

-His grandmother died.
-He had his heart severely broken by a woman.
-One of his cars was wrecked.
-He had to re-live the murders of his friends during a recent trial.
-One of his cars was stolen.
-He received orders back to the war-torn Middle East for the 9th time.
-And finally, as if all that wasn't enough, he was held up at gunpoint yesterday for $40 while waiting at the drive-in of a local fastfood restaurant.

No one could argue, he sure has had more than his fair share of adversities so far this year, but I couldn't help to wonder if he realizes how incredily blessed he's been as well.

-He was blessed with a grandmother who he obviously loved dearly. How many are out there in this world alone, without anyone here on Earth to care for them?

-While his latest love relationship didn't work out for him as he would have liked it to, he was blessed with knowing what it is like to love someone deeply. In the wake of the end of the relationship, he was also blessed with the support of many caring people.

-He was blessed with the means to own a car, something many of us take for granted each day in a world where there are still people who must walk miles each day for the most basic of human necessities - water.

-He is blessed by his very life. He is alive. He may have lost $40 yesterday, but he walked away with his life. He has survived numerous deployments to war-torn areas of this world and has returned alive each time. Wow! What a blessing! I know of one young Marine who didn't make it through the first day of his very first deployment.

When life throws fast and furious curveballs our way, it is so easy to lose sight of the many blessing which have also been bestowed on us.

We must never forget, our life is all a matter of how we choose to perceive it .

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

For The Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope A Gentle Thunder: Hearing God Through the Storm (The Bestseller Collection) In The Eye Of The Storm

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's All a Matter of Choice

Recently, my dear friend, Lisa, emailed me the following story. I've seen it before and perhaps you have too, but it's such a great reminder of the choice that is ours everyday, it's worth reading again!

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, 'If I were any better, I would be twins!'

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, 'I don't get it!'

'You can't be a
positive person all of the time.

How do you do it?'

He replied, 'Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood can choose to be in a bad mood

I choose to be in a good mood.'

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or...I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested.

'Yes, it is,' he said. 'Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a
choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life.'

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?'

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

'The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he replied. 'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live.'

'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I asked.

He continued, '...the paramedics were great.

They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action.'

'What did you do?' I asked.

'Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity''

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude...

I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Maintaining a positive attitude no matter what life throws your way is something I've struggled with at times myself. However, I've seen first hand the difference a positive attitude can make in a person's life. I've seen what happens and how your life is affected when you choose to be a positive person.

A few years back I knew two women who were both dealing with a very progressive and debilitating disease. The first woman was already confined to a wheel chair. She was frequently in and out of the hospital and rehab center due to her condition. She was legally blind. She had been a nurse, but her disease made it impossible for her to practice her beloved profession any longer. She was dependent on other people for most of the daily activities, the things most of us take for granted. Though she longed for children and would have made a wonderful mother, her disease had progressed so rapidly that it was not possible.

The second woman was still able to walk with the assistance of a walker. While her sight was starting to fail, she was still able to see fairly well and had not yet been classified as legally blind. While she did have to rely on others for transportation, she was still fairly self-sufficient with her daily activities. She had a great husband who tried hard to give her everything she wanted. Despite her condition, she was blessed with a child, who she delivered without any serious complications.

After hearing a little bit about the limitations each of these two women were dealing with, you might think that the first woman would be the more bitter of the two. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The first woman was never without a smile on her face. She took the setbacks and limitations of her condition in stride. While she could no longer work as a nurse, she did volunteer with an organization and was an advocate for people with disabilities. While she could no longer see well enough to read, she still thoroughly enjoyed the books on tape she ordered through the mail. She had a beautiful voice and sang in her church choir. She participated in activities at her church and in her community. She always had time to offer a kind word and to encourage others. She had the sweetest, kindest spirit and was truly a blessing to all who knew her. I don't believe I ever heard her complain, not even once, about the hand life had dealt to her. She accepted and embraced the life she was blessed with and lived every day of it to the fullest.

The second woman was the polar opposite of the first. She was bitter and rarely smiled. She didn't seem to enjoy her life very much, if at all. Her words were harsh and cutting. She never let an opportunity pass to criticize or mock other people. She didn't appreciate those people in her life who loved her and were always there to help her. One by one she managed to push them all away with her constant, pervasive and utterly destructive negative demeanor. All she ever did was complain about the hand life had dealt her. Sadly, no one was blessed by this woman's life.

What a difference our attitude makes on the lives that we live! I've seen many examples of this difference in other people in my life. Those with the negative attitudes who choose to worry about everything are always those who derive the least amount of joy from the lives they've been blessed with. On the other hand, those who choose to look for the positive in every situation and realize that worry serves no positive purpose, live fuller and much happier lives. Those are the people I strive to be like. It isn't always easy, but it's always worth it!

'Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' Matthew 6:34.

Looking Up When Life is Looking Down It's Not About Me: Rescue From the Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy Get Out of That Pit: Straight Talk about God's Deliverance

Monday, March 22, 2010

Be Happy Now

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Dance as though no one is watching you.
Love as though you have never been hurt before.
Sing as though no one can hear you.
Live as though heaven is on earth.

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we're frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We'll certainly be happy when they're out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?

Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Father Alfred D'Souza once said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."

This perspective helps us to see that there is no external way to happinessHappiness is a choice! So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with... and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting ... until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you're off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a drink, until you've sobered up, until you die, until (insert whatever you think is holding you back from being happy here) to decide that...

There is no better time than right now to be happy than today!