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What is this Linchpin Business?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A linchpin is "something that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together"

The first linchpin for Fly Lady home management is shining my sink. If I do this, then shiny spots seem to appear magically throughout my home, just as easily as red wine spreads out all over your new white carpet. If I skip a day, things start to fall apart.

The second linch pin for Fly Lady home management is setting up small do-able routines. If I don't make my bed the minute I get out of it, then I tend to let other routines slide, too.

From the Sleep Challenge, I learned my linchpin for getting a good night's sleep was playing the harp for at least 15 minutes before bed.

The linchpin for sticking to my nutrition plan is having my refrigerator filled with prepped fresh , frozen, or cooked fruit and veggies. If I come home from the grocery and prep my fruits and veggies, I reach for two fruits for my cereal; or take out containers of a variety of chopped veggies and washed and spun salad greens for salad or stir fry, and I do it all week long. If I don't do that prepping, I don't meet my veggie or fiber goals each day which slows down weight loss and affects my health.

My newest linchpin for eating whole foods is sprouting beans and cooking batches of legumes and grains. I have baked rice, quinoa, and oat groats ready to be the sides or basis of a hearty stir-fry, stew, or soup. Legumes are sprouted, ready to throw on a wrap or salad, or add at the last minute to a stir fry. And for a heartier meal, dried soybeans or garbanzos were slow cooked and wait in the refrigerator, salt free.

If I don't have these simple things ready, I resort to processed veggie burgers, fake chicken, loads of salt, hidden sugars, or feel just plain hungry and deprived.

When I go to NC I will continue my routines of buying 28 servings of fruit, and 42 servings of vegetables and taking them home to be prepped and refrigerated. I will set up red lentils and soybeans to sprout. I will bake black japonica, golden rose brown rice, quinoa, and oat groats and refrigerate each in single servings. I will cook soy beans, and a bean mix and make my own veggie burgers. What I have learned works while at home will not be thrown out because I'm on vacation.

So my goal "Be Healthy" is my linch pin. It makes no sense to not want to be healthy while on vacation. I can put off a weight goal for a day or two while I eat something I know is unhealthy for me. I know I can get back at it and be back on track within a weeks time.

But that Health goal, not so much. It doesn't take a holiday. My body celebrates healthy. Every ounce of my soul rejoices in healthy.

I could say, I don't feel like cooking lunch today. I'm going to __________________ for lunch. Insert any fast food restaurant. I know I can stay within calorie range at any one in the area. So I won't even affect my weight loss by going out for lunch.

But that Health goal reminds me I know I will not have access to those anti-angiogenic foods or fruits or vegetables or very much fiber at the fast food restaurant. And that will affect my health. Can I get back on track. Maybe. But I've had fat cells running amok because my body kept building more blood supply for the fat cells without any foods to keep that in balance.

I've had cancer twice, with tumors growing uncontrolled without the foods to keep their blood supply from growing and feeding them. Medical science has taken over with surgery, radiation and 4 years of chemotherapy to make my body healthy?? again.

That health goal is my linchpin. It will control my choices for the foods I eat, the sleep I get, the exercise I get, the questions I ask to get the information I need to make healthy choices.

May you enjoy a healthy life!

What is your linchpin?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOTTAPLAN4U 12/17/2012 8:54AM

  I also rely on the evolution of my taste in food to keep me on track. Over extended time I now prefer the healthy foods, which helps me in the moment, but I also know that stepping away from the rigor of it during an extended vacation, for example, would degrade the level of food preference I have achieved.

I am inspired to see you have planned a healthy way through your vacation.

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CHRISTINASP 12/16/2012 1:22PM

    My linchpin... hmm. I think it is doing yoga on a daily or almost daily basis.
If I skip the yoga my body becomes stiff and starts 'asking' for the stretches. My mind becomes rigid also, it needs the yoga to return to a state of calm and openness.
The yoga helps me to get 'aligned' both in my mind and my body so I am better able to face the rest of the day.

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CHRISTINASP 12/16/2012 1:12PM

    Wow, what a great blog. Thank you! I admire you for doing all that. I am doing some of those things but I must say I can feel very tired / exhausted some time from all the 'extra' work. I guess it takes time to get used to doing these things like cooking beans and grains.
With regard to preparing produce: doesn't it wilt / lose it's nutrients if prepared a week in advance?
I'm asking because I do think that preparing the vegetables right after doing the grocieries may be a GREAT idea to try. You mean that you wash them and cut them, right?

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sometime in the next 15 days, i will melt off that last half pound on this short term weight goal. I have never been successful with New Year's Resolutions, so I'm looking at goals, taking stock, thinking, etc.

After reading a SP friend's discussion of accountability, I decide I was tracking too many goals, making myself crazy. Spending 20 minutes checking off goals instead of getting up and moving is just wrong.

So I'm posting my goals for my life for 2013 now. They technically take effect whenever I lose that last half pound and set up a new short term weight goal, ever heading toward that healthy weight.

I still might have to revise them once I'm on the road, sitting on my porch and hiking the trails in NC. But that doesn't bother me to change, to adjust. As I meet a new day, read a new post, have time to really think and study all sides of an issue, I keep searching for the linchpin idea.

For example, Lose Weight doesn't have as much power for me as Be Healthy. Yes, I know I need to lose weight to be healthy. But the linchpin is being healthy. I've been unhealthy and didn't much care for it. If I can do anything about it, I am going to make healthy choices.

That's the kind of thinking I did to arrive at these goals:

More about linchpins in the next blog.

Edit 12/16/2012: Jan 1, 2013 weight loss goal met this morning! Woohoo. On to the next, set for April 1, 2013. I know. I won't believe it either. So I'll just have to attain that set point earlier.

If you would like some more information about anti-angiogenic foods, visit my team page at

Eat to Defeat Fat Cell, Cancer Cells, and More;

or send me a private Spark Mail message.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 12/18/2012 7:36AM

    Somehow I missed this entry before... Very inspiring blog.

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ANGEL1066 12/16/2012 7:42PM

    I identify with your enthusiasm for the harp. Music is so important. I've tried several times to master an instrument, only to have the progressive damage to my RA hands snatch it away. The last was my recorder. I really miss it, simple little instrument tho it is. Cherish your harp time. Enjoy the beauty in North Carolina, too. God Bless!

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KITT52 12/16/2012 6:34AM

    good goals..... love the diagram

Have a healthy week

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SAGELADY2 12/16/2012 12:11AM

    OOOOOHHHHH, I LIKE that diagram you've got. I could plug in myself right in the middle. Good thoughts.

I have a hard time connecting with people since I'm such an introvert. Even at church and work, it's hard. I just kinda melt in a puddle over in the corner. The diagram reminded me that I am not an island to myself.

I hope you have a very good, enjoyable and productive time in NC. Breathe deep, enjoy the air and the scent of pines.

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Much can happen during a 74 minute walk.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I leave for my walk. Wonderful cool gray day. Have to take the jacket off after a while. Managed to avoid a driver who thought he would drive where I was walking and make it home with energy to spare. . . until I see the emergency message across the silent screen. I quickly turn on the volume and learn that a shooter has entered a school in Connecticut and snuffed out the lives of children and teachers, members of his family and possibly himself. Gray day seems dismal now. What can we do to end the pain?

Progress doesn't seem important now. Let your loved ones know how much you love them, how proud you are of them. Every day. Hugs. Especially to everyone dealing with disaster in Connecticut.

Week 3 5 k training program
Day 1 37 minutes, 1.65 miles, 2.7 mph
Day 2 48 minutes 2 miles 2.5 mph
Day 3 74 minutes 2.85 miles at 2.3mph

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGEL1066 12/14/2012 10:11PM

    Such evil acts are so senseless, yet becoming all too common. How can we stop what is so hard to understand? My heart goes out to all involved, especially the families bereft of children today. But evil has long been in the world. We cannot let it conquer the joy of the good things we do. Keep walking, it brings sanity. Just watch out for errant cars! God Bless!

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TEALHAWK 12/14/2012 8:38PM

  Sometimes things happen and we dont know why, it is hard to
understand the mindset of some. On a happy note sounds
like you had a good walk

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ROSGETSSERIOUS 12/14/2012 5:17PM

    My heart is breaking for this tragedy and the families involved.

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BRAVELUTE 12/14/2012 3:47PM

    All parts of the body are happy, maybe a little tired, but happy, feeling 10 years younger. Not lookin it. Just feeling it.

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CHRISTINASP 12/14/2012 3:27PM

    Some things are just so hard to understand...

So you walked for 74 minutes! How is it going with your foot?

Comment edited on: 12/14/2012 3:28:27 PM

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The dots have moved . . .

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Some retailers here have a color dot system where the longer the outdated clothes stay on the racks, the higher percentage is taken off the price. It saves having to mark down each individual piece. Just change the large color dot sign so customers know what the sale is on the item they want.

It's nice when the shift happens at the same time you are looking for a 70% off pair of jeans that are yet another size smaller because you know you won't be in them for long before you need the next size down so why pay an arm and a leg for a pair of designer jeans that will fit for only 8 weeks when you can save all that money for a killer wardrobe when you reach goal!

8 weeks ago, I had to buy a belt to hold up my jeans while on vacation. They were hanging off the belt loops like draperies when I bought the new pair of size 20s, down from 26. Now, I'm going back to NC, and the 20s are staying up with the aid of a belt. I didn't want to be draped like I'm a window while hiking in the mountains this time so I went shopping for a cheap pair of jeans that might fit in a week or 2 (that means they wouldn't do up right now).

I tried on 2 different styles of 18s. I pulled them both right up without unzipping, no effort.
I bought them both. I was so excited, I wore one pair on my walk with the sticky tab still attached down the right leg.

Today, I'm wearing my 18 corduroys which I bought 6 years ago and was never able to wear. I'm going to the dot store to look for 16 jeans to take on the trip. Black would be nice.

I think my belt still has holes left in it.

1 pound and 19 days left for this short term goal. Totally do-able.

Addendum after the dot store trip: Back from the dot store with one pair of 16s, slightly snug. No dots. But still half price over yesterday's jeans. I'm confident I'll have bottoms to wear for the next 2 months.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAGELADY2 12/16/2012 12:15AM

    Congratulations! I found a new thrift shop down the road from my work that has tons of good stuff that is ORGANIZED by size and type of clothing. Can't wait to spend some time there and get fitting pants and tops.

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ANGEL1066 12/14/2012 10:15PM

    You are progressing so fast! Fantastic!

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LORT-C 12/13/2012 11:30PM

    Congrats--You are doing this!!!! Wish I had a dot store. emoticon

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SHARJOPAUL 12/13/2012 1:27PM

    Congratulations!! You're doing great!

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CHRISTINASP 12/13/2012 12:27PM

    Wow, you are doing so well! emoticon

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CBRINKLEY401 12/13/2012 11:51AM

    Congratulations. I know it feels so good when that happens.

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Here we go round the mulberry bush

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Did you learn the mulberry bush song when you were growing up? You know,

Here we go round the mulberry bush . . .

Then the chorus:
This is the way we wash our clothes
Wash our clothes, wash our clothes
This is the way we wash our clothes
Early Monday morning . . .

and there was a task for every day of the week. And most of those jobs were monumental at that time: wringer washing machines, no dryer except the line out back . . . No vacuum for sweeping the house, just the broom or dustmop, and we prayed for something to help with scrubbing the floor.

When I started teaching, I thought I needed to still do each of those things and more every day. Impossible. Because I still needed to grade papers and write plans, and call parents . . . every evening. And get some sleep to be ready to do it again.

So Saturday became the day to get all of the chores and errands done. And everything that didn't get done spilled over into Sunday or whatever day you had off, if you were lucky enough to have two days off a week.

There is a major flaw in the song. And parents, teachers of young children, musicians who create cds and dvds for kids, and the creators of Sesame Street should take note that the important jobs have changed. Most of the jobs in the song have disappeared with modern conveniences, but no one has a clue how to manage daily chores with other important life tasks.

So how about a rewrite.

First of all, I would take bets that very few people know what a mulberry bush looks like.
So my senses say change the first verse to:

Here we run 'round the neighborhood,
Here we run 'round the neighborhood
Early every morning.

Here we plant our fresh romaine, carrots and beans, soybeans and greens,
Here we plant our fresh romaine early one spring morning.

Then we have our fresh food snack, berries or nuts, carrots or orange,
Then we have our fresh food snack,
On the healthy track.

Then we plan for next week's meals
Veggies and fruit, nuts and beans
Then we plan for next week's meals
On the healthy track.

Then we take our list to the store
Buy our food and a little more
Then we take our list to the store
On the healthy track.

Here we prep our veggies and fruit, carrots and beans, soybeans and greens,
Here we roast our carrots and beets
On the healthy track.

Then we fill the crock pot up,
Crock pot up
Crock pot up
Then we fill the crock pot up,
On the healthy track.

Then we run 'round the neighborhood,
Then we run 'round the neighborhood
On the healthy track.

Then we eat a healthy meal, healthy meal, healthy meal,
Then we eat a healthy meal,
On the healthy track.

Then we get a good night's sleep, etc.

We just might turn this obesity thing around. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERICHO1991 6/23/2013 12:36PM

    creative and informative. thank you.

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BRAVELUTE 12/15/2012 8:12AM

    Angel, mulberries are also anti-angiogenic. When I was growing up, the house on the corner had a huge mulberry tree. A flock of parakeets roosted in it. They might have nested also. When the mulberries were ripe, I used to climb up in the tree to get them before they fell to the ground in all the parakeet poop. Sounds like you don't need to climb a tree to get your local fruit.

I found dried white mulberries from Russia at the health food store. Very good as a snack dried (no sweetnener)

I might have time to think about some more creative rewrites while in NC.

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ANGEL1066 12/14/2012 10:55PM

    I should have known you were a teacher! Care to have a try at rewriting 'Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley grow.."? Of course, those are all fairly healthy eating, so perhaps the rewrite should focus on how to eat them. O, and I for one do know what a mulberry bush looks like. They are a common hedge shrub here - I could get good exercise running round them all, could I still run. I do walk past them often. Songs like that could very well help create the healthy eating habits we want for our kids, if they also see us living that way ourselves.

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BRAVELUTE 12/13/2012 5:38PM

    By design, Nellie. I don't seem to have any trouble eating. I don't think anyone would have to teach me to eat. Maybe to eat veggies. But I DO STILL have problems making myself exercise.

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NELLIEC 12/13/2012 5:29PM

    It is good that the running is in the chorus so it will be repeated a lot more than the eating parts!

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CHRISTINASP 12/13/2012 12:29PM

    The lyrics look good. I don't know the song, being Dutch, but you must have had a good time rewriting that!

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DLDMIL 12/12/2012 10:32PM

    love it. You did an excellent job redoing this song.

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BRAVELUTE 12/12/2012 9:40PM

    Just program in new words!!

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JUNEAU2010 12/12/2012 9:33PM

    Clever! Now the song is stuck in my head again! emoticon

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